In the managed services provider (MSP) market, there are numerous companies and advisors who assist merger and acquisition (M&A) activities. Two names that seem to be moving into the spotlight are Bradley Gross (pictured) and Stephan May. Who are these M&A advisors and how are they working with MSPs? Here are some clues.
Gross is the founding partner of the Law Office of Bradley Gross, P.A., which focuses on transactions involving managed service providers, VARs, technology solution resellers, cloud solution providers, IT professionals and technology companies worldwide. He previously worked for one of the largest law firms in Florida, and he works as general counsel for some SaaS and HaaS solution providers.
Gross is set to speak at IT Nation 2012, hosted by ConnectWise, in November. With his bio in mind, I wonder if Gross has represented CharTec (a HaaS specialist in which ConnectWise Capital invested).
I don't have any "behind the scenes" chatter about the M&A deals Gross has assisted, but I'm intrigued to know what he'll cover at IT Nation...
TUC Capital's Stephan MayMeanwhile, Stephan May recently joined TUC Capital, a new division of The Utility Company (TUC Brands) that will fund merger and acquisition activity. How big is TUC's M&A war chest? I don't know. But May has experience raising and managing money. He previously worked at Walton Capital, a real estate investment firms that apparently raises $500 million in capital annually. He also held senior positions at AxesNetwork and Green Swan Capital.
TUC apparently has three M&A funds underway:
- TUC I, which financed the acquisition of Nitro IT Business Solutions;
- TUC II for accredited investors; and
- TUC III for institutional investors, supported by senior debt financing.
M&A Experts We've CoveredSo, who else is assisting MSP mergers and acquisitions?
- I believe 4-Profit consults on some larger VAR and IT solution provider deals.
- Cogent Growth Partners is a familiar name, assisting many buy-side MSPs with acquisitions and longer-term integration efforts.
- Foros, a financial services firm, advised on Presidio's big buyout of BlueWater Communications Group -- a top Cisco channel partner -- earlier this year.
- Martin Wolf Securities has focused mainly on VAR and IT solution provider deals.
- Service Leadership Inc., led by Paul Dippell, helps MSPs to maximize their valuations -- sometimes in preparation for M&A deals.
- Weaver & Associates is a boutique M&A advisor, led by MSPAlliance Founder Charles Weaver.
And an important side note about MSP mergers and acquisitions: The media (MSPmentor included) spends a lot of time writing about the latest deals. But remember: Only a few dozen M&A deals involving IT service providers, VARs and MSPs occur each year --a pretty low figure considering there are roughly 80,000 to 120,000 channel partners in North America.