Mergers and Acquisitions, Mergers and Acquisitions, MSP

Unconventional MSP Buyers Emerge


When it comes to managed services provider (MSP) mergers and acquisitions, most deals often involve IT service providers, VARs or MSPs hooking up with one another. Sometimes, larger players like Konica Minolta (owner of All Covered) slip into the picture. But another type of buyer is now probing the market as well.

Indeed, online marketing and digital advertising agencies are now taking a close look at MSPs as potential acquisition targets. It's somewhat similar to the Web Integrator wave from the late 1990s, when digital agencies like Razorfish blended digital strategy, marketing and Web development services.

Digital Marketing Agencies And MSPs

Fast forward to the present and the trend may be repeating itself. One recent example involves The Karcher Group (TKG) of North Canton, Ohio, buying Ossa Technology Solutions LLC of Hartville, Ohio.

TKG, founded in 1997, has grown into a full-service digital agency, providing online marketing, Web development and data services, the company indicates. Ossa Technology, launched in 2006, is an MSP. Financial terms and specific headcount information was not disclosed. ChannelE2E has reached out to TKG for additional comment.

Geoff Karcher TKG's Karcher

No doubt, the line between digital marketing and managed services has blurred. A few other examples: Directive, an MSP in Oneonta, N.Y., offers website design services. And its sister business, Joomconnect, offers marketing services to MSPs. Somewhat similarly, Ulistic -- which promotes MSP marketing services -- is owned by  Stuart Crawford, himself a former MSP.

More Deals Likely Coming

Still, the TKG-Ossa deal is slightly different. That business combination focuses all of its digital marketing and MSP services on end-customers rather than peer MSPs. And I suspect additional digital marketers and MSPs will do the M&A dance in the months ahead.

Related Coverage
> Why Some Top MSPs Aren't Hooked On M&A>
> IT Service Provider M&A Guidance
> Selling Your MSP or VAR Business? No Room for Emotions

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.