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Descartes Systems could transition to larger acquisitions, says CEO Ed Ryan

descartes systems
descartes systems
Descartes CEO Ed Ryan.

Waterloo’s Descartes Systems Group (Descartes Systems Group Stock Quote, Chart, News: TSX:DSG, Nasdaq:DSGX) is a serial acquirer of smaller companies, but the firm could soon make a big pickup, says its CEO.

Ed Ryan, CEO of Descartes Systems Group was on BNN yesterday to talk about the company’s fiscal 2015 and beyond.

On Thursday, Descartes reported its fiscal 2015 results. The company earned (U.S.) $15.05-million on revenue of $170.9-million, up 13% from the $151.3-million topline the company posted in fiscal 2014.

Powering Descartes year, as has become custom, was acquisitions. The company has made 29 of them since 2006.

And while the firm has become known for smaller, “tuck in” acquisitions, Descartes gaze could soon turn to pricier purchases, said Ryan.

“We used to do five, ten, fifteen million dollar acquisitions, now we do thirty, forty million dollar acquisitions,” he told host Michael Hainsworth. “We take a look at even larger ones, we just haven’t had an opportunity to pull the trigger.”

Ryan explained that the company is incredibly choosy when it comes to closing on an acquisition. He said that Descartes has about 300 targets in its pipeline and about twenty it is actively talking to.

“We probably end up doing four or five a year,” he said.

The Descartes CEO says the pace of acquisitions does not feel rushed, but made with the urgency of purpose. Ryan says he focuses on how each acquisition can contribute to the company’s notably ambitious goals.

“We see a huge opportunity to become the global logistics technology platform of choice,” he said.

Click here for the full interview.

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About The Author /

Nick Waddell
Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.

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