Say goodbye to Tech Data, one of Tampa Bay’s largest, longest-running and most successful corporations.
Say hello to TD Synnex.
Nearly 50 years after its founding, the Largo technology distribution company on Wednesday completed its $8.3 billion merger with California tech company Synnex Corp., creating what is now the largest information technology distribution company in the world.
The new TD Synnex name represents more than just co-branding. The combined company will maintain joint headquarters in Fremont, Calif., and Largo, giving Pinellas County a claim as the home base of a global corporation that last year saw revenues of $57 billion, with 22,000 workers serving 150,000 clients in more than 100 countries.
“I’m so happy that we’re at this point now, and we can start to work together in earnest,” said Rich Hume, Tech Data’s CEO, who will keep that role with TD Synnex. “I’ve talked to the team about ‘wow’ moments in my career, and there were only a handful of those wild moments. Certainly, this one eclipses any in the past.”
The merger effectively returns what was once one of Tampa Bay’s largest public corporations to the public market. Tech Data had been a Fortune 100 company before selling for $6 billion to New York private equity firm Apollo Global Management in 2020. Synnex is itself a Fortune 200 company. The combined business will continue trading under the Synnex symbol, SNX.
Announced in March, the Synnex-Tech Data deal was originally valued at $7.2 billion based on Synnex’s stock price at the time. That stock has since jumped 23 percent, hiking the merger valuation to around $8.3 billion.
Under the terms of the deal, Synnex shareholders will own 55 percent of the company; an Apollo subsidiary will own the rest. Synnex CEO Dennis Polk will become the new company’s executive chair. Hume will be one of four Tech Data directors joining the TD Synnex board; the other three had been with Tech Data only since the Apollo acquisition.
By joining forces, the two companies will benefit from the economies of scale, said Larry Walsh, chief analyst and CEO of Channelnomics, a research and consulting firm that advises tech companies and distributors on market strategy. TD Synnex will be able to make more investments in forward-looking technology, such as cloud computing. While the company has indicated no plans to change its relationship with vendors, Walsh said it could eventually market products directly to consumers, instead of distributing them through resellers.
“This is more about the growth potential than it is about the culture or legacy of Tech Data,” Walsh said. “This is going to allow them to scale and expand their reach into services, into downstream support, into professional engagement.”
For Hume, becoming part of the world’s largest IT distribution company means existing clients will have access to additional vendors, capabilities and investment opportunities that it didn’t have before — and the same is true of Synnex.
“But it’s also important to, from my point of view, be very humble about that fact,” Hume said. “Because at the end of the day, our customers and our vendors don’t see a lot of value in how big we are. They see value in how we service and deliver and work with them every day. And that’s the more important point.”
Hume said the company wasn’t planning to cut or streamline staff in Florida, California or other offices, including a large facility in Greenville, S.C. Operations at both headquarters are expected to stay the course, he said, with no plans to shift responsibilities east or west.
“From an overall community, overall engagement, overall organization perspective, there really isn’t anything lost here,” Hume said. “As the world moves more toward a virtual world, the concept of headquarters becomes less and less and less important as we move through time. So I wouldn’t read anything into this co-headquarters location. They’re designated that way, and we don’t really focus on the balance of power between the two.”
For local business leaders, having even part of the company based in Pinellas County is a win.
“For a seasoned economic developer like myself, it’s a goosebump moment,” said Chris Steinocher, president and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. “All we ever hope for for St. Pete companies is that they grow so large that they can lead the world someday. And here’s one doing that.”
TD Synnex won’t just bring the area additional global recognition, Steinocher said. As a public company, it’s likely to spur more community investment.
“Most of these public companies, or all the good ones, they’re incentivized by their investors to support what are called ESG projects — environmental, social and governmental, “he said. “That’s what shareholders ask them to do.”
In the past, Tech Data has sponsored events such as St. Pete Pride, among other local initiatives. Hume said that sort of community involvement will continue.
“The legacy of the corporation carries forward and is stronger than it’s been, so I don’t think there’s any loss of the legacy,” Hume said. “The brand name itself, TD Synnex, represents and respects both aspects of that (partnership), and I think the people of Tech Data recognize that. I see this as a continuation of a journey.”
The dissolution of the Tech Data brand may cause some hand-wringing among those who’ve backed and followed the company for decades, Walsh said. But ultimately, the company’s evolution into TD Synnex is a positive for Tampa Bay.
“Consider the closure of this merger as a reflection of the quality and the strength of Tech Data, not anything other than that,” he said. “I’ve talked with two people from Tech Data today. They’re excited. They have a lot going on, there’s a lot of work for them to do, but this is about the next evolution of them as a company. I don’t see that changing.”