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Supply Chain M&A: AHEAD Acquires MBX Systems

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Multi-cloud MSP and digital business platform provider AHEAD, backed by Berkshire Partners, announced today that it has acquired MBX Systems, an advanced integrator of custom hardware and logistics and supply chain orchestration software provider. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This is technology M&A deal number 176 that ChannelE2E and MSSP Alert have covered so far in 2023. See more than 2,000 technology M&A deals for 2022, 2021, and 2020 listed here.

AHEAD, based in Chicago, Illinois, was founded in 2007. The company has 1,757 employees listed on LinkedIn. AHEAD's areas of expertise include Cloud Computing, Enterprise Data Center, Digital Engineering, Data & Analytics, Next-Gen Infrastructure, Enterprise Automation, Integrated Security, Cloud Management and Operations, Managed Services, Consulting Services, DevOps, Cloud Migration, Security Automation, Network Automation, and FinOps.

MBX, based in Libertyville, Illinois, was founded in 1995. The company has 159 employees listed on LinkedIn. MBX's areas of expertise include turnkey hardware programs for ISVs, Deployment-ready and custom platforms, Design, build, integration services, Product lifecycle management, MBX Hatch™ software for supply chain visibility, modular hardware building blocks to accelerate time to market, and global logistics and inventory management.

This acquisition allows AHEAD to deliver custom-engineered platforms, deeper edge infrastructure solutions capabilities and integrates MBX's proprietary software platform, known as Hatch, which enables enterprise clients and OEM partners IT asset lifecycle management capabilities. The acquisition will also help clients streamline global distribution of custom hardware products through MBX's 120,000-square-foot integration and logistics center outside Chicago, the companies said.

MBX CEO Chris Tucker and his leadership team will remain with AHEAD and report to AHEAD's CTO Eric Kaplan, who leads the solutions portfolio at the company.

AHEAD Acquies MBX: Executive Perspectives

Eric Kaplan, CTO, AHEAD
Eric Kaplan, CTO, AHEAD

Eric Kaplan, CTO at AHEAD, commented on the news:

“With the addition of MBX, we will provide the custom solutions our clients require to fulfill their expanding needs for edge and hyperscale solutions. Not only will we engineer and build these systems for our clients, but with the addition of Hatch, offer them the ability to optimize the product lifecycle along with full support for global logistics and asset management.”

Chris Tucker, CEO of MBX Systems, added:

"We are reshaping the customer experience, utilizing Hatch's innovative capabilities to provide customers an unmatched level of operational transparency and direct access to real-time information. Our objective is to weave this transparency into a flawless customer journey, commencing from the design of new products through to the final stage of delivery. We can’t wait to integrate these capabilities with the AHEAD platform, where the added scale and reach will empower us to serve an even greater number of clients."

AHEAD's Growth Strategy

Berkshire Partners first invested in AHEAD in 2020 in partnership with Centerbridge and acquired a majority stake in 2022. This purchase is a continuation of AHEAD’s strategy to blend organic growth with acquisitions, the company said. The purchase of MBX Systems marks the ninth acquisition for AHEAD in five years.