AVI-SPL and Whitlock are merging to form a massive audio-visual system integrator and digital workplace service provider that offers MSP, video conferencing and unified communications solutions. The combined company's majority owner will be private equity firm Marlin Equity Partners. Also, H.I.G. Capital will have a minority stake in the business. Both PE firms had relationships with the individual AV businesses ahead of the deal.
The resulting company, branded as AVI-SPL, will have $1.3 billion in annual revenue, Tampa Bay Business Journal estimates.
This is M&A deal Number 101 that ChannelE2E has covered so far in 2020. See the complete M&A deal list here.
AVI-SPL and Whitlock Merge: Deal Details
Whitlock, founded in 2956, is a technology integrator with expertise in audio-visual and collaboration solutions. The company, based in Richmond, Virginia, offers strategic planning, roadmap consulting, enterprise management, workplace integration and managed support. Also, Whitlocks' Global Presence Alliance spans 30 audio-visual and video conferencing companies.
AVI-SPL is a digital workplace services provider that offers collaboration technology solutions and associated managed services. Roughly 80 Fortune 100 companies leverage the company's AV and unified communications solutions.
Upon closing, current Whitlock customers will have access to AVI-SPL’s 24/7 Global Services Operation Centers, as well as new remote management and monitoring capabilities provided by AVI-SPL’s proprietary Symphony offering.
AVI-SPL has M&A experience. The company in 2017 acquired Sharp's Audio Visual -- a Canadian integrator.
AVI-SPL and Whitlock Merge: Executive Perspectives
Describing the deal, AVI-SPL CEO John Zettel said:
“This is an incredibly exciting new chapter for our company, our employees, and our customers. AVI-SPL and Whitlock have always shared a mutual admiration and respect for one another due to our similar passion for innovation and commitment to providing world-class customer experiences. Combining these strengths along with our talented employees, strong global partnerships, and worldwide resources will ensure we continue to deliver the very best experience for our local and global customers undergoing digital transformations.”
Added Whitlock CEO Doug Hall:
“The unification of our talented, passionate teams, as well as our local and global resources, will drive significant value to our customers and employees. Together we are delivering exactly what our customers have been seeking – comprehensive technology management and sustainable support solutions that enhance the end-user experience, increase technology adoption and usage, and improve business outcomes. This is an exciting time for our employees, our partners, and our customers.”
Alex Beregovsky, a managing director at Marlin, concluded:
“The digital workplace services industry has an incredible amount of untapped potential. The combined company significantly benefits from deeper resources, broader technology expertise and enhanced local presence. We look forward to partnering with the AVI-SPL and Whitlock teams to help them fully reach their potential and ensure customer success around the world.”
Private Equity: About Marlin Equity Partners and H.I.G. Capital
Both Marlin Equity Partners and H.I.G. Capital have extensive experience backing recurring revenue technology companies and IT service providers. For example:
- Marlin Equity Partners owned MSP-focused AppRiver until Zix acquired that business in January 2019. And Marlin currently owns Arcserve, though the backup company apparently is up for sale.
- H.I.G. Capital invested in Eze Castle, a financial services MSP, in June 2018, and also backs Trace3, a massive IT provider and consultancy.