Private Equity Firm Acquires Breakthrough Technology Group
Private equity firm ABRY Partners has acquired Breakthrough Technology Group (BTG), a managed private cloud service provider focused on supporting enterprise workloads and IT services. ABRY’s investment will be used to accelerate growth, both organically and through strategic acquisitions, the companies said. Actual financial terms were not disclosed.
BTG’s key offerings include:
- AppsAnyplace, a fully managed hosted virtual desktop and application delivery solution;
- Private Cloud services, spanning dedicated virtual servers, applications, and services within a customer’s dedicated private cloud;
- SaaSAnyplace, including dedicated hosted Exchange, SharePoint, archiving and eDiscovery; and
- DataAnyplace, powered by Citrix ShareFile (which Citrix recently repositioned).
All of those services are backed by BTG’s 24 x 7 x 365 monitoring, management and help desk services.
BTG in recent years was one of AT&T’s top channel partners — ranking as the highest-revenue generating AT&T Alliance Channel Solution Provider for 2010, 2011, and 2012. We’re checking to see if or how that relationship evolved after IBM took over AT&T’s managed hosting business in 2015.
BTG was one of the most vocal private cloud service providers during the early cloud wave, but the company has grown quiet over the past year. The company hadn’t made any news announcements in 2017 until today’s ABRY Partner investment news.
BTG and ABRY Explain the Deal
Both ABRY and BTG sound upbeat about the investment, and the road ahead for the company.
ABRY Partners Principal, Rob Nicewicz offered this prepared statement:
“BTG is an industry pioneer with a well-deserved reputation for innovation in cloud and managed IT services. We are excited about this investment as demand for managed private cloud services is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. In regulated industries, such as financial services and healthcare, it is essential to maintain the integrity of data and computing environments at levels comparable to on-premise deployments. We believe that BTG’s offerings are especially attractive to banks, hospitals and other highly-scrutinized institutions that require the integral security, availability and flexibility of Adaptable Cloud Services to meet their business and compliance needs. Accordingly, we believe BTG is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this trend as its private cloud services offer risk mitigation and high-touch support at a price point equivalent to public cloud options.”
Added BTG CEO Jeff Kaplan in a prepared statement:
“Migrating enterprise workloads is a daunting challenge for any organization. Hesitancy towards moving to a cloud environment stems from concerns about service providers’ ability to meet the unique business and compliance requirements of each specific company. Despite the notoriety of cookie-cutter public cloud offerings, CIOs must have assurances that their data stays protected. On-demand access to ongoing, concierge
level support to mitigate unexpected complexities is paramount. BTG’s team of tenured industry professionals offers the high-touch, expert service that ensures optimal system performance and customer experience.”
Still, the announcement did not mention any type of growth or customer adoption figures from BTG.
Private Equity Firms Pursue MSPs, CSPs
Meanwhile, private equity firms continue to acquire MSPs, CSPs and ecosystem peers at a rapid pace. Example deals in recent weeks have involved:
- BV Investment Partners acquiring majority control of Apps Associates, an IT services firm with AWS, Oracle, Salesforce and NetSuite expertise.
- Vista Equity Partners acquiring Datto, and then merging portfolio company Autotask into Datto. That deal is expected to close within days.
- Marlin Equity Partners acquiring AppRiver, an Office 365 partner that extends security solutions to MSPs.
- Apax Partners acquiring ThoughtWorks, an IT consultancy with more than 4,500 employees in 15 countries.
Still, many private equity firms are struggling to find high-value VARs, MSPs and CSPs that warrant investments or acquisitions. At the time of an M&A deal, the typical MSP valuation is roughly 6 to 7 times annual EBITDA, according to a recent webcast presentation from Service Leadership Inc. CEO Paul Dippell and ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini.
In some cases, eager buyers are paying higher multiples to offset weakness in their existing businesses. For instance, Office Depot paid roughly 10 times annual EBITDA for CompuCom in October 2017.
Back at BTG, we’ll be watching closely for potential follow-on acquisitions funded by ABRY’s investment.