Content, Channel markets, Channel partners, CSPs, Mergers and Acquisitions, Channel investors, Midmarket, Mergers and Acquisitions, MSP, Private equity

C Spire Acquires TekLinks for Managed Cloud Business Services

C Spire has acquired TekLinks, combining the largest privately held U.S. wireless carrier with a Top 100 Vertical Market MSP that boasts extensive cloud services know-how. An official announcement is expected Tuesday (June 26) around 1 p.m. ET. A spokesperson confirmed the deal to ChannelE2E. We don't know if financial terms will be disclosed.

C Spire launched in the early 1950s as a local exchange carrier. The Ridgeland, Mississippi-based company has grown to offer wireless; home Internet and TV; business and cloud services. The company's business services include enterprise-grade technology solutions for IP voice, dedicated Internet access, wireless 4G LTE and a suite of cloud-based services, C Spire says.

TekLinks, meanwhile, is one of the rare companies to blend VAR, MSP and CSP services -- emerging as a type of total service provider in recent years. The company, based in Birmingham, Alabama, had been backed by private equity firm Pamlico Capital since roughly August 2012. The private equity funding helped TekLinks to acquire multiple MSPs and IT solutions providers in recent years.

Now, TekLinks and Pamlico are on the sell-side of the table. New parent C Spire has been doubling down on business services in recent months. For instance, the company has a growing relationship with the Microsoft Office 365 team. And in the business security market, C Spire recently hosted a half-day summit featuring such key partners as Apple, Cisco Systems, Hitachi Vantara, Horne Cyber, RSA and Dell Technologies.

Additional C Spire-TekLinks Deal Details

The companies today provided additional details about the deal. Key points include:

  • Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • The acquisition and merger integration process should be completed within 60 to 90 days.
  •  TekLinks has primary operations in three states – Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. The company's key verticals are health care and financial services.
  • Earlier TekLinks acquisitions and M&A deals have included Guidant Partners, Claris Networks, and ClinicAnywhere (formerly ETG).
  • In a prepared statement, TekLinks President Don Monistere said: “We’re excited about becoming part of a company that shares our long tradition of passionate focus on superior customer service. With this combination, C Spire is poised to lead the next wave of professional and managed IT services for companies.”
  • Monistere will transition to General Manager of C Spire Business Solutions.
  • TekLinks CEO Jim Akerhielm said: “In pursuing this transaction, it quickly became evident that the two companies were very much aligned in terms of team culture and strategic focus.  I am incredibly excited about the future of the combined teams.”
  • Last fall, C Spire launched an initiative to bring fiber-based 1 Gbps fiber-based ultra high-speed internet access to up to 250,000 small and medium-sized businesses in Mississippi, the company says.
  • C Spire continues to expand its voice, data, managed and cloud services for government agencies and private businesses and operates several Uptime Institute-certified data centers, the company adds.
  • Bank Street Group served as the exclusive financial advisor to C Spire in connection with this transaction.

PS: We're aware of two additional private equity firms that are seeking to exit their MSP investments. We'll let you know how those situations evolve...

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.