Best Buy's mindSHIFT Acquires White Glove Technologies

Best Buy's mindSHIFT Acquires White Glove Technologies

mindSHIFT, a subsidiary of Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), has acquired White Glove Technologies -- one of the leading managed services providers (MSPs) in Texas and an MSPmentor 100 company. The move signals Best Buy's strong commitment to the MSP and cloud services markets, two critical areas that could help the struggling big box retailer to reinvent its business.

Even after Best Buy acquired mindSHIFT in late 2011, mindSHIFT continued to have a "selective acquisition policy" in place, according to mindSHIFT CEO Paul Chisholm. White Glove, meanwhile, is a dominant managed services provider in Texas. "Our goal is to expand nationally and Texas is a pretty big place," quipped Chisholm. "White Glove is a large player in the industry in general."

Chisholm and White Glove President Carey Balzer say the two companies are perfect cultural fits; both are focused on customer service rather than technology jargon, they noted.

mindSHIFT and White Glove have been in touch off and on for about three years. About a year ago, mindSHIFT began to kick around acquisition ideas with White Glove. Some of the preliminary discussions occurred at the 2011 Schnizzfest conference hosted by TruMethods, Chisholm confirmed. But the actual M&A discussions didn't intensify until about three months ago.

"We were in no rush to sell the business," said Balzer. "But this was the perfect opportunity. It takes a lot of capital to scale into the cloud more and more and more. Our goal has always been to dominate Texas. Now we'll scale even more."

Historically, mindSHIFT has grown half organically and half through acquisition. Geographic expansion will continue to be a priority for the company, Chisholm indicated.

Meanwhile, Best Buy has experienced some turbulence and management changes in recent months as the big box retailer strives to combat competition from Amazon.com. Despite Best Buy's business challenges, Balzer said White Glove had "no hesitation whatsoever" in completing the deal with mindSHIFT. Balzer notes that Best Buy continues to generate a lot of cash, and Best Buy's move into services is "where things get really exciting."

Similarly, Chisholm said mindSHIFT continues to execute its managed services and cloud services strategies. "I continue to run mindSHIFT day to day the way I did when we were independent," he said.

Now, those day to day operations will include the White Glove team in Texas. And, Chisholm confirmed, mindSHIFT will continue its selective acquisition strategy.

White Glove's 105 employees including President Carey Balzer will join mindSHIFT. White Glove CEO Tommy Wald will exit after the deal is finalized.

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