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Private Equity-Backed Air IT Acquires Two UK Managed Services Providers

Air IT Limited has acquired a pair of English MSPs – London’s Netstar UK Limited and Birmingham’s Microtrading Limited – for an undisclosed amount.

These are M&A deals 437 and 438 that ChannelE2E has covered so far in 2020. See the full M&A deal list here.

Air IT itself is a UK-based MSP and is backed by private equity firm August Equity, which first invested in the company in January 2020.

The Netstar and Microtrading acquisitions have effectively doubled Air IT’s size in nine months. The company says the additions will strengthen its share in the managed IT marketplace, extending its reach into London and the West Midlands.

The three companies have each delivered more than 20 percent growth year over year, collectively serving more than 800 clients, according to Air IT. Both Microtrading and Netstar’s teams will join Air IT, the company said.

Air IT Acquires Netstar and Microtrading: First Steps

John Whitty, CEO, Air IT

Mit Patel, managing director and founder, Netstar

John Whitty, CEO of Air IT, commented:

“Since the investment and commitment made by August Equity Partners to back our growth strategy, the team have been hunting for solid businesses who share our dedication and ability to serve the SME market. We are delighted to have found these, despite the recent pandemic, with Netstar and Microtrading who are both extremely capable, successful, and exciting businesses with very talented teams, which will result in the doubling of staff to 140 people. Like Air IT, they are both famous for delivering excellent service whilst also sharing our strong cultural values. The inclusion of their teams will provide additional depth and expertise to support the innovative and business enhancing services provided to our customers. These acquisitions represent the first step towards achieving both our organic and acquisitive goals which is supported by a strong and mature pipeline of similar deals.”/

Mit Patel, managing director and founder of Netstar said:

“We are delighted to join the Air IT group. Netstar has consistently invested in our people, systems, processes and product portfolio and we will continue to provide excellent service and strategic technology advice to our customers. Our clients will now further benefit from a broader service portfolio, including Cyber and Business Intelligence (BI) Solutions.”

Andy Penlington and Neil Marlowe, the joint Managing Directors of Microtrading said:

Andy Penlington, co-managing director, Microtrading

Neil Marlowe, co-managing director, Microtrading

“We have spent almost 40 years developing and growing our business into a successful and agile organisation, and the time is right to take the next step and allow our customers to benefit from our significant joint capability and technical investment. We are all very pleased that the Air IT values and culture are extremely close to those already present within Microtrading, which will make the integration of the businesses so much easier.”

Air IT’s Acquisition Insights

Air IT was founded in Nottingham in 2005. The company’s solutions include managed IT and communication services including managed IT support, cybersecurity, business intelligence, business continuity, and cloud digital transformation.

NetStar was founded in 2002 to provide IT managed services to Central London. The company has provided fully managed IT support and technology consulting services, primarily within the financial services, property, and professional services sectors.

Microtrading, meanwhile, has operated from Birmingham since its founding in 1981. The firm’s offerings include managed IT support services and predominately Microsoft cloud-based solutions, which it has offered to Microsoft cloud-based solutions to SME clients in the West Midlands region of England. The company has 16 employees.

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