Ingram Micro, the large California-based IT distributor that helped lead the charge for more efficient Web-based supply-chain management during the Internet era, proved it was serious about entering the home technology market yesterday by buying AVAD, the large home tech distributor based in Hollywood, Fla.

Ingram Micro purchased AVAD for $120 million with earn-out payments of up to $80 million based on performance over the next three years. AVAD, which had 2004 sales of about $200 million, will operate as AVAD LLC, a subsidiary of Ingram Micro. The deal was expected to be finalized by the end of July.

Bob Gartland, president and principal founder of AVAD, will continue on as the company's president. Joe Piccirilli, AVAD's managing director, will stay on as vice president of business development.

"If there was a concern in the past that one of our local partners would be overwhelmed by a project, that won't happen anymore," says Gartland, who explains that up until now, AVAD was a group of 11 distributors and a marketing company that banded together to pool funds for national marketing campaigns, trade shows, the Dealer-to-Builder program, and dealer training.

Under the terms of the agreement, AVAD is now one company with 28 locations nationwide.

"Builders should know that AVAD is a single company with the resources of a large public company behind them," says Gartland. "There will be a lot better access to product availability and a more consistent product flow, since once you become one line item on an allocation sheet for a manufacturer instead of 11 it becomes much easier."

Gartland says he expects AVAD will leverage Ingram Micro's expertise in warehousing and supply chain management. AVAD will also be available to train Ingram Micro's network of value-added resellers about the home technology business. The purchase lets Ingram Micro add AVAD's customer base of 8,000 dealers and custom installers with minimal overlap in its existing customer base.

Ingram Micro had 2004 sales of $25.5 billon.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA.