Private equity, IT distribution, Content

Platinum Equity Acquires Ingram Micro from HNA Group for $7.2B

Ingram Micro CEO Alain Monié

Private equity firm Platinum Equity is acquiring technology distributor Ingram Micro from China's HNA Group for $7.2 billion. The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021.

This is M&A deal number 515 that ChannelE2E has tracked so far in 2020. Find a full list of M&A deals here.

Once the deal closes, Ingram Micro CEO Alain Monié will continue to lead the distributor, and the company will remain headquartered in Irvine, California.

In a statement about the deal, Monié said:

"Platinum's sector expertise, global operating capabilities and financial resources make it the ideal partner. Teaming with Platinum provides an opportunity to further strengthen our competitive advantage in the cloud, speed our digital transformation and accelerate the expansion of our solutions and services portfolio, particularly for high value markets. We will also be able to broaden our geographic reach even faster, while penetrating new industries and verticals. We will maintain a strong balance sheet and will gain additional flexibility and resources to execute on our long-term strategic objectives. HNA has been a good partner for Ingram Micro, enabling us to continue to innovate and expand our global businesses. We look forward to the opportunity to accelerate this trajectory with Platinum."

Rumors about Platinum Equity potentially buying Ingram Micro first surfaced in August 2020, ChannelE2E reported at the time. HNA acquired Ingram Micro in 2016 for $6 billion.

The Platinum Equity-Ingram Micro announcement surfaces roughly six months after private equity firm Apollo Global Management acquired Ingram rival Tech Data.

Platinum Equity Acquires Ingram Micro: Executive Perspectives

Tom Gores, chairman, Platinum Equity

In a prepared statement about the deal, Platinum Equity Chairman and CEO Tom Gores said:

"Ingram Micro is an industry leader, one of the largest companies in the world and will be a cornerstone investment in our portfolio. We have the resources and the experience to help the company pursue an aggressive agenda of growth and transformation."

Added Platinum Equity Partner Jacob Kotzubei:

"We know Ingram Micro and the industry very well and have been investors in the technology and IT distribution and solutions sectors for more than a decade. We have been pursuing this opportunity for a while and have been impressed by the company's ability to thrive while continuing to navigate these fluid and challenging times. We will work closely with the Ingram Micro leadership team to sustain that momentum and build on the company's success."

Added Platinum Equity Managing Director Matthew Louie:

"Ingram Micro's scale, diverse customer and vendor relationships and track record for innovation, create the perfect platform for us to help accelerate growth, both organically and through additional M&A," said Platinum Equity Managing Director Matthew Louie. "It also provides exciting opportunities in one of the fastest-growing sectors in technology as corporations continue to migrate to cloud or hybrid solutions."

Concluded President of HNA Group North America Wang Duan:

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement that delivers a strong return on HNA's investment while ensuring that Ingram Micro has a partner committed to investing in its future growth," said President of HNA Group North America Wang Duan. "We wish Alain and his team well and are confident that Ingram Micro will continue to succeed in this exciting new phase of growth and development under Platinum's ownership."

Ingram Micro: Buyout Rumors Popped Up Regularly

From time to time, rumors popped up that HNA Group may look to sell Ingram Micro in order to strengthen HNA Group’s own financial footing. Rumored Ingram Micro buyers included RRJ Capital (2019) Apollo Global Management (2018), but those purported M&A deals never materialized.

Meanwhile, Ingram's CloudBlue software unit has a growing business relationship with SoftBank's SB C&S distribution company in Japan. Indeed, SB C&S has selected Ingram Micro’s CloudBlue software platform to drive cloud subscriptions and licenses for Microsoft 365, Dropbox and local Japanese ISVs.

Also of note: Ingram Micro in December 2019 announced an updated focus for CEO Alain Monié in the cloud business, and a new global role for Paul Bay. At the time, ChannelE2E wondered if Ingram may try to spin off or introduce Ingram Micro Cloud to Wall Street as a tracking stock.

Amid the occasional buyout rumors, Ingram has maintained a consistent focus on partner support and emphasized that the company's core IT channel priorities remain unchanged.

Ingram: Three Partner Priorities

Paul Bay, CEO, Ingram Micro

Meanwhile, it's a safe bet Ingram Micro will maintain its long-term business focus under Platinum Equity's ownership.

That focus involves three key pillars, Executive VP Paul Bay told ChannelE2E in November 2020. The pillars are:

  1. Win together.
  2. Transform the IT customer experience across the entire lifecycle.
  3. Deliver more solutions and more deeply engage the company's global partner communities.

We'll share more details about those priorities and the Bay conversation -- which occurred pre-company sale -- soon.

Ingram Micro and PSA Software Rumors

Meanwhile, recent reports suggest that Ingram may have acquired Harmony PSA, a provider of professional services automation software designed for MSPs (managed IT service providers).

Our latest sources pointed us to this website — which suggests Ingram Micro CloudBlue President Nimesh Dave and Ingram Micro Cloud VP Darish Rajanayagam have been Harmony PSA officers since May 2020. That same website says Harmony PSA founder Stephen Duckworth resigned his officer position around the same time.

Harmony PSA competes in some ways against ConnectWise Manage and Datto Autotask.

Article above first published August 22, 2020. Updated December 9, 2020, to reflect official Ingram-Platinum news announcement and Harmony PSA rumors.

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.