Potential Ingram Micro Buyer: Who Is Apollo Global Management?

HNA Group apparently is negotiating to potentially sell Ingram Micro. The alleged bidder: Apollo Global Management, a private equity firm. But who is Apollo, and does the company know about IT services and the IT channel?

The answers to those questions potentially provide good news to VARs, MSPs and cloud-oriented partners. The reason: Apollo Global Management has extensive experience investing in the IT services and technology markets — particularly in the MSP, cloud services and IT solutions provider markets.

Three key examples include:

1.  Apollo acquired Rackspace in 2016. At first, the deal to take Rackspace private looked a bit bumpy. The hosting provider failed to compete effectively against Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Layoffs arrived in 2017. But around the same time, Rackspace reinvented itself as a managed cloud provider for multiple systems — including AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and more. A partner program refresh has also surfaced.

These days, Rackspace ranks among the Top 100 MSPs for public cloud services. Plus, there are rumors the company has regained revenue momentum and could be considering an IPO — though that chatter has died down amid the recent Wall Street turbulence.

2. Apollo acquired Presidio in 2015.  The midmarket IT solutions provider has evolved to offer digital transformation and management services for the multi-cloud world. Major names like Cisco Systems, Dell EMC, and VMware remain key Presidio partners. Plus, an AWS partnership appears to be blooming.

Presidio itself has made multiple acquisitions in recent months — including names like Red Sky Solutions and Netech, among others. More recently, the company launched an IPO — tho Apollo still owns a stake in the firm, last I heard…

3. Apollo acquired ADT in 2016. Since that time, ADT has evolved into a full-blown MSSP.

Ingram Micro: Evolving Under Potential Apollo Group Ownership?

So if Apollo Group owned Ingram Micro, how might the distributor evolve? First, the good news: Ingram is in solid financial shape. The distributor has continued to grow under HNA Group’s hands-off ownership style.

I suspect Apollo Group would be a bit more hands-on in ownership style if an Ingram buyout emerges. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Ingram already has solid footprints in key markets like cloud services, and big data analytics for partner engagements. Apollo, I suspect, would help Ingram to further accelerate those efforts.

Admittedly, I’m getting ahead of myself. As of press time, HNA Group was still negotiating to sell Ingram, according to reports. And Apollo as a potential buyer is just one potential outcome of those discussions. We’ll update this article as additional information about HNA Group and Ingram Micro’s ownership status become clearer.

PS: A rumor surfaced last year that Synnex might acquire Ingram, but those reports were shot down. We have not heard Synnex’s name mentioned amid the current Ingram M&A rumors. But we’re still listening closely for firm facts about Ingram’s ownership status…

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