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Enterprise, Cloud MSP AHEAD Acquired By Private Equity Firm Berkshire Partners

Credit: AHEAD

Private equity firm Berkshire Partners has acquired majority control of AHEAD, a multi-cloud MSP and enterprise cloud consulting firm. The seller was Centerbridge Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.

This is technology M&A deal number 844 that ChannelE2E has covered so far in 2022. See more than 2,000 technology M&A deals involving MSPs, MSSPs & IT service providers listed here.

AHEAD: Rumored Revenues, EBITDA & MSP Business Valuation

AHEAD, based in Chicago, Illinois, has offices and customer reach nationwide. The company has 1,423 employees listed on LinkedIn.

Rumors about AHEAD being for sale surfaced in July 2022. The asking price apparently was roughly $3 billion, or approximately 13X annual EBITDA estimates for 2022, the July 2022 report suggested. ChannelE2E has not independently confirmed those stats.

Also of note: AHEAD's anticipated financial metrics for 2022, according to the July 2022 report, include:

  • Revenue of $2.5 billion, up from $2.2 billion in 2021;
  • Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of more than $230 million.

Centerbridge has been AHEAD's majority owner since October 2020 -- though Berkshire also invested in the MSP at that time. Now, those private equity roles are flip-flopped: Berkshire takes the majority stake, while Centerbridge shifts to a minority position.

AHEAD M&A Experience, Next Moves

Backed by those private equity firms since 2020, AHEAD continued to diversify its cloud, data, and application-related services for enterprise clientele. Key AHEAD moves included acquiring:

Moreover, AHEAD merged with Data Blue and acquired Sovereign Systems in late 2019; and acquired Link Solutions in July 2019.

Looking ahead, Berkshire Partners is "making an additional investment to become majority shareholder and leverage its specialist sector expertise in technology, business services, and digital infrastructure to help fuel AHEAD’s further expansion." The AHEAD management team and staff remain unchanged.

AHEAD Private Equity Backing: Executive Perspectives

AHEAD CEO Daniel Adamany
AHEAD CEO Daniel Adamany

In a prepared statement about the new ownership structure, AHEAD CEO Daniel Adamany said:

“We’re grateful for the support of both firms over the last two years, as we made material improvements to the business to not just deliver exceptional near-term results but set the stage for future scale and growth. The expanded investment by our colleagues at Berkshire, along with the continued support of Centerbridge, will help us further innovate and mature a services portfolio that helps our clients fundamentally transform how they run their businesses and serve their own customers."

Added Larry Hamelsky, a managing director at Berkshire Partners and Drew Walker, a principal at Berkshire Partners:

“AHEAD is a very special company. Dan and his team are highly focused on delivering best-in-class technology solutions to their enterprise customers, and on building a vibrant, client-centric culture. We’re thrilled to be deepening our collaboration with the team and look forward to supporting their next chapter of innovation and growth.”

Concluded Jared Hendricks, a senior managing director at Centerbridge and Chris Litchford, a managing director at Centerbridge:

“The AHEAD team has performed phenomenally during our time working together,. We are gratified by the significant value creation that has occurred through our partnership with the AHEAD team since investing in 2020 and look forward to continuing as an investor in the business.”

The AHEAD management team and its employees, led by founder and CEO Daniel Adamany, remain unchanged.

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.