Avnet Inc, a distributor of electronic parts and computer gear for the likes of IBM and Apple, is focusing its M&A strategy on emerging markets, where the growth is, seeking to bolster its product offerings in an uncertain market.

We plan to be aggressive on the M&A front, CEO Rick Hamada said in a telephone interview.

Hamada, who moved into the top job last month after 28 years at Avnet, has earmarked resources to capture growth opportunities in emerging markets.

He said the company was also talking to prospective targets in the Americas and Asia, but declined to be more specific.

We have active pipeline conversations and opportunities for both our businesses in major regions that we operate in, he said.

Avnet's two divisions -- electronics marketing and technology solutions -- connect leading technology manufacturers with their customers.

In its last fiscal year, the Americas accounted for 43 percent of total revenue, ahead of Europe, Middle East & Africa on 32 percent and Asia Pacific on 25 percent.

Avnet and its rival Arrow Electronics Inc have been on an acquisition spree to boost revenue.

In 2010, Avnet spent close to $700 million on six deals, and has completed another so far this year. Arrow has completed two acquisitions this year.


The two tech distributors are seeing IT spending decline as customers are cautious with new orders against a backdrop of, at best, sluggish economic growth. Both this month forecast slow growth for the current quarter.

We have taken our expectation for the September quarter down just a little bit primarily out of respect for this cautious approach, Hamada said, also noting the big impact on Avnet's $600 million parts business in Japan from the devastating earthquake there six months ago.

Europe, he said, is mixed, with the components business performing well, while IT is seeing slow organic growth.

We interpret that European consumption may be somewhat muted ... but because the component business is doing well there, it's an indication that technology exports for Europe have been pretty strong, he said.

Shares of Phoenix, Arizona-based Avnet, valued at about $3.9 billion, have dropped by a third since hitting a near-4-year high in mid-May. They last traded at $25.62 on Nasdaq on Friday.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Rachana Khanzode in Bangalore, Editing by Ian Geoghegan)