Venture Technologies To Ramp Up Growth After M&A Deals


Venture Technologies has tripled in size after closing a merger and acquisition this week, and the Ridgeland, Miss.-based solution provider intends to keep growing.

Venture finalized Monday its merger with Information Systems Consulting (ISC) of Denver and acquisition of Strategic Allied Technologies (SAT) of Birmingham, Ala.

The deals, announced in April, increased headcount at the merged company -- which will continue to operate under the Venture name -- to 205, and revenue from $50 million annually for Venture to nearly $150 million.

[Related: Venture Technologies Merges With Information Systems Consulting, Acquires Strategic Allied Technologies]

"There's way too many of us chasing the same business," said Gerard Gibert, who will continue in his role as CEO of Venture Technologies. "It's just very difficult to continue operating as an independent, $40-to-$50-million organization."

But Venture doesn't plan to stop at $150 million. The company is in discussions with at least six other targets and hopes to complete two transactions by the end of the year, Gibert said.

Gibert hopes future acquisitions and mergers will allow Venture to become a national organization. The company currently has operations in Alabama, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming.

The solution provider channel is fragmented and needs to consolidate, due largely to new demands from technology partners and the vendor community, Gibert said.

"I just think scale is necessary for continued growth and continued creation of critical mass," Gibert said.

Many vendors are instituting volume requirements for solution providers to retain their current status in partner programs, Gibert said, while some programs are only open to channel partners who can meet certain financial benchmarks.

Still, Gibert acknowledged that not too many solution providers are looking to scale up as rapidly as Venture. Instead, he said a good number of solution providers have been in the industry for a long time and would be interested in selling as part of an exit strategy.

Investors have been warm to Venture's growth plans.

GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance, based in Chicago, invested $30 million to support Venture's future growth, while Chicago-based Monroe Capital provided a $14.3 million credit facility to support consolidation.

"Generally speaking, the investment community is looking for larger placements," Gibert said. 

ISC, which had annual revenue of more than $50 million, is structured similarly to Venture, Gibert said, offering both premise-based infrastructure and a data center with cloud services. The company specializes in public safety verticals, offering a solution for operating 911 centers.

ISC founder Win Farnsworth is now Venture's president, according to a press release.

Bringing SAT on board allows Venture to establish a critical mass in the Alabama market, Gibert said. The company has annual revenue of less than $50 million, and has a good number of federal customers.

All three companies have enjoyed strong relationships with vendors such as Cisco, EMC, Hewlett-Packard and VMWare, Gibert said. Core verticals for the merged company include State and Local Government and Education (SLED), healthcare and banking and finance.

"We look forward to this journey," Gibert said.

PUBLISHED AUG. 22, 2014