Private equity, Content

KKR Acquires Ensono IT Services Provider: Confirmed


KKR is acquiring managed IT services provider (MSP) Ensono from private equity firms Charlesbank Capital and M/C Partners, the companies have confirmed.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but Reuters says the deal has roughly a $1.7 billion valuation -- making it one of the largest MSP buyouts in the past decade.

Ensono, a Top 250 Public Cloud MSP based in Downers Grove, Illinois, positions itself as a digital transformation consultancy that offers cloud, hybrid IT and mainframe managed services.

Charlesbank Capital and M/C Partners acquired Ensono — the former Axciom IT business — in May 2015 for $190 million in cash. The MSP re-emerged as Ensono, backed by a new management team, in January 2016.

Related: More than 500 MSP Buyouts Listed Here.

Ensono's MSP Acquisitions

Ensono has grown organically and through additional acquisitions. Key deals included acquiring:

Rumors about Ensono itself potentially being up for sale for $2 billion surfaced in February 2020, but no deal emerged at that time. The company also laid off roughly 137 employees around that time.

KKR Acquires Ensono: Executive Perspectives

In a prepared statement about the deal, Ensono CEO Jeff VonDeylen said:

“As we embark on our next chapter with KKR, Ensono will continue to provide clients with transformational solutions that help them operate for today and optimize for tomorrow. Our initial investors played an important role in helping us establish our business and brand and funding our growth.  With the support of KKR, we will continue to grow and invest in our future as we drive innovation to meet the changing needs of our clients. We are fortunate to be in an industry where the need for our services has not only grown but diversified into exciting new areas of potential growth.”

Added Webster Chua, partner at KKR:

“Digital transformation across industries is driving an increased need for comprehensive service providers to help simplify IT infrastructure management for enterprise clients,. Ensono is a proven leader in delivering hybrid solutions for clients with complex IT environments, and we are thrilled to support the Ensono team on its next phase of growth and development.”

Concluded Michael Choe, Managing Director and CEO of Charlesbank Capital Partners, and Gillis Cashman, Managing Partner of M/C Partners, in a joint statement:

“We are proud that our investment enabled Jeff and his outstanding management team to achieve their ambitious vision of establishing Ensono as a global leader in hybrid IT. We are thrilled about Ensono’s new investment from KKR and look forward to seeing its success continue as the company adds to its portfolio of innovative service options.”

KKR is making the investment primarily from its Americas XII Fund. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2021.

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.