Mergers and Acquisitions, Mergers and Acquisitions, MSP, VAR

Big MSPs, VARs Get Hooked on Private Equity

Court Square Capital Partners, a private equity firm, has acquired AHEAD -- a major IT solution provider based in Chicago. This is the third major private equity acquisition of a VAR, MSP or IT solution provider in the past few days.

Daniel Adamany
Daniel Adamany

AHEAD CEO Daniel Adamany announced the deal in a blog post, stating:

"Our opportunity with this partnership is to continue to invest, grow, and better serve our clients. Over the coming years, you will see us continue to aggressively develop new solutions in Enterprise Service Management, Cloud Infrastructure, Mobility, and several new areas. These areas are rapidly coming together to provide a more holistic and impactful platform for the delivery of next generation services and applications. This is our collective opportunity."

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Who Is Court Square?

Court Square, based in New York, has a track record of success buying, building and selling IT solutions providers. The private equity firm acquired CompuCom more than a decade ago for about $628 million, and then sold that business for $1.1 billion in 2013, according to financial estimates from PE Hub. Court Square in 2011 also invested in Strategic Products and Services, unified communications integrator.

It sounds like Court Square's investment in AHEAD may allow that IT solution provider to pursue more M&A deals. Still, competition for potential VAR, MSP and IT solution provider buyout targets could get intense.

Private Equity Firms Buying VARs, MSPs, More

Private Equity Firms have been very aggressive  in the IT channel in recent weeks. In addition to the Court Square-AHEAD deal:

No doubt, the M&A activity will continue. Although PE firms tend to be buy-and-hold organizations, at some point each private equity firm will want to unlock the value of their investment...

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.