Private equity, Channel technologies, Business continuity, Mergers and Acquisitions, Content, Storage

CMIT Solutions Parent Acquires Multiple Technology Companies

Craftsman Capital Partners, a Dallas, Texas-based private equity firm, continues to acquire technology businesses across the IT channel.

ChannelE2E already told you about Craftsman acquiring CMIT Solutions, an MSP franchise, in December 2018. But that's only part of the story.

A separate strategy involves Craftsman incrementally acquiring five channel-centric technology companies that are now working very closely together. Here's a snapshot of the interrelated deals:

  • 2016: Craftsman acquired Boxx Technologies, a high-performance workstation maker;
  • 2017: Box then acquired Cirrascale, a server and cloud specialist;
  • May 2019: Craftsman acquired and rolled up storage system vendor PAC Storage, systems integrator and reseller West Coast Technology (WCT), and storage distribution specialist PAC Data.

How do all pf those pieces fit together? The simple answer: Craftsman will now organize those five businesses into two companies -- BOXX and PAC -- that operate independently from one another but work closely with each other. (CMIT remains a separate, unrelated investment.)

LinkedIn: Bill Leasure, VP of marketing, Boxx
LinkedIn: Bill Leasure, VP of marketing, Boxx
LinkedIn: Rick Crane, CEO, PAC
LinkedIn: Rick Krause, CEO Boxx

“We're just all part of the Craftsman family,” BOXX VP of Marketing Bill Leasure tells ChannelE2E, while referring to the PAC relationship. “It does allow BOXX to recommend and offer PAC data storage solutions while in turn, PAC can do the same for us when their customers inquire about desktop, mobile, and rackmount workstations.”

Executive Perspectives

The joining of the companies coincides with record growth for both BOXX and PAC, according to a prepared statement from the company.

Rick Krause, BOXX CEO, commented on the announcement:

“There’s an explosion in the amount of data being consumed by our key customers. In fact, storage is the fastest growing area of the market segments we serve, so by joining forces with Rick Crane and Dave Holloway, the longtime, successful, senior PAC management and their excellent team, we’ll offer a complete portfolio of world-class storage solutions that deliver the highest levels of performance, efficiency, and reliability.”

Rick Crane, PAC CEO, added:

“We’re excited about the opportunities that the BOXX team and technology brings to PAC’s existing portfolio. This enables the PAC team to continue to expand our storage offerings which have grown exponentially driven by the increase in complex technologies, advancements in media and entertainment, and increased data security. With this consolidation, we together have the springboard to launch a premier end-to-end solution to successfully satisfy and enhance the accelerating demands in the marketplace.”

BOXX and PAC Business History, Evolution

Based in California, PAC is focused primarily on data storage, backup, and disaster recovery, with particular expertise in SAN, NAS, and backup solutions, the company said. PAC’s goal is to assist enterprise consumers with data storage offerings through WCT or PAC Data authorized resellers.

With a current headcount of between 60 and 70 employees, BOXX began operating 22 years ago as a media and entertainment company. The firm produced hardware solutions for VFX, animation, and motion media applications. Over the past decade, the hardware manufacturer expanded its offerings to include products for the architecture, engineering, and other markets that rely on 3D design applications.

The company tells ChannelE2E that the new ownership format will have no discernible impact on BOXX customers as sales and support contracts remain the same. However, the union will benefit current and potential BOXX enterprise customers because the company can now provide them with world-class data storage solutions, according to Leasure.

“It makes BOXX a one-stop shop for their computer needs,” he said.

Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.