Private equity, MSP, Content

Private Equity and MSPs: ClearLight Partners Invests In ICS

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Kevin Blake, CEO, ICS
Kevin Blake, president and CEO, ICS

Private equity firm ClearLight Partners has invested in ICS, a major MSP (managed IT services provider) in Endicott, New York. ICS CEO Kevin Blake remains the MSP's owner. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ICS, founded in 1986, has three offices in upstate New York serving small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) across multiple vertical markets. The MSP's service catalog includes managed services, cybersecurity, cloud migration & other project-based services, and hardware and software reselling.

ClearLight Partners is a private equity firm in Southern California that invests in established, profitable middle-market companies with significant growth potential. Since inception, ClearLight has raised $900 million in capital across three funds from a single limited partner.

FOCUS Investment Banking acted as exclusive financial advisor to ICS in connection with ClearLight’s investment in ICS.

The ClearLight-ICS relationship surfaces roughly one month after ICS acquired Brightworks Computer Consulting of Ithaca, New York.

ClearLight Partners Invests In ICS: Executive Perspectives

Michael Kaye, managing partner, ClearLight Partners

Josh Mack, partner, ClearLight

In a prepared comment about the ICS investment, ClearLight Partner Josh Mack said:

“We are impressed with the organization and culture that Kevin and his team have built and their ability to provide great service for their clients. We look forward to supporting ICS through its next period of growth."

Added ICS CEO Kevin Blake:

“ClearLight had a well-articulated thesis for the MSP industry, and it was clear very early on that ICS and ClearLight were a great match. I’m confident that, together, we’ll build the leading Northeastern MSP whose brand is synonymous with keeping our clients ahead of technological change and cybersecurity so that they can compete more effectively within their respective industries.”

Concluded Michael Kaye, managing partner at ClearLight:

“We have really enjoyed getting to know Kevin through this process. His leadership has driven strong growth in the business while maintaining a customer-first approach across the organization. We are thrilled to be partnering with Kevin and ICS."

Private Equity and MSPs: Investments and Acquisitions

Even amid the coronavirus pandemic, private equity activity in and around the MSP sector has remained steady.

The anecdotal evidence:

More private equity investments are a safe bet. Among the reasons why: Private equity investors were sitting on a record $1.5 trillion in cash during Q1 2020, according to data from Preqin. That is the highest on record and more than double what it was five years ago, CNBC reports. Amid that reality, private equity firms are trying to carefully move deals forward while avoiding more pandemic fallout.

Disclosure: ICS CEO Kevin Blake and ChannelE2E Editor Joe Panettieri also are angel investors. Blake and Panettieri are exploring a potential investment together unrelated to ICS and ChannelE2E. The duo will disclose a joint investment if one emerges.

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.