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TTI Makes a Billion Dollar Bet With Symmetry Electronics Acquisition

Can TTI replicate its success in taking Mouser from $50M to $1.034B in sales? Michael Knight, TTI Senior VP, Americas thinks so.

TTI, Inc. added another specialty distributor to its lineup with the just-announced acquisition of Symmetry Electronics, a semiconductor component distributor headquartered in Hawthorne, California.

A specialty distributor itself (of interconnect, passive and electromechanical (IP&E) components), TTI acquired catalog distributor Mouser in 1999 and Sager, a leader in power solutions, in 2012.

TTI’s strategy is primarily focused on specialty as opposed to broadline distribution, noted Michael Knight, TTI Senior VP, Americas. “With fewer lines, we can give every supplier more time and attention. And a big advantage is that we are always going to be able to know more about our suppliers’ products than our competitors do.”

In 2016, Mouser surpassed the $1 billion mark, and is listed as #9 in SourceToday’s Top 50 Distributors rankings at $1.034 billion. Knight anticipates repeating that success with Symmetry Electronics—but at a faster clip this time around. With a focus on wireless and communications—the fundamental building blocks of connected devices--the $50M specialty distributor is poised to cash in on the explosive growth of the Internet of Things.

“Symmetry is known for taking care of engineers, in fact they have a remarkable offering in terms of supporting their customers’ engineering teams who want to take their product and connect it to the Internet. Symmetry offers the key components of the IoT architecture, and their app engineers are helping customers more easily go through the process of connecting their products,” said Knight.

Whereas Mouser’s growth was primarily organic, Knight pointed out that with its financial resources, TTI is well positioned to spur Symmetry’s growth by underwriting new acquisitions, as well as jump-starting growth through its well-established footprint in international markets, where it can be complicated to set up shop as a newbie.

As a result of the acquisition, customers can expect better lead times, more international coverage, and most assuredly expansion of some sort as the TTI DNA of “thinking big” transfers over.

And as far as that future growth goes, Knight pointed out that it’s really up to the Symmetry team as to where they want to go and how they want to get there. “Time will tell whether it’s doing what they did with the IoT and finding other spots in the market where they stay super-specialized and build out their expertise in new areas or whether they become more of a generalist in semiconductors. ”

 

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