ePlus Expands Geographical Reach With Acquisition Of Consolidated Communications IT Services

Solution provider ePlus Technology acquired the IT services equipment and integration business of Consolidated Communications Holdings in a move ePlus said would expand its geographic reach into the Upper Midwest.

Consolidated IT Services, based in Minneapolis, is a Cisco Gold partner and the acquisition helps ePlus – also a Cisco partner – grow its practice around that vendor's products.

Terms of the acquisition, which closed Monday, were not disclosed. The acquisition was carried out by ePlus Inc. subsidiary ePlus Technology Inc.

[Related: New ePlus CEO: We're Growing Because We're Investing In The Right Technologies]

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Consolidated IT Services provides a broad range of data center, collaboration, networking and security solutions and services. The company has Cisco Master Cloud Builder, Master Managed Services and Advanced Data Center certifications.

"Consolidated IT Services expands our reach and coverage in a new geography for ePlus, the Upper Midwest, and adds many new enterprise customers and a great set of talented employees," said Mark Marron, CEO of Herndon, Va.-based ePlus, in a statement.

"Consolidated IT Services’ customers will gain access to ePlus’ full range of managed and professional services, financing and life-cycle management tools, and nationwide coverage by our integration and logistics facilities. In addition, we will bring our full suite of advanced technology solutions and the highest certifications from the leading technology vendors — such as Check Point, EMC, HPE, NetApp, Palo Alto and VMware – to complement their expertise in core Cisco technologies," Marron said.

Marron, ePlus' longtime chief operating officer, was named the solution provider's CEO in August when previous CEO Phil Norton stepped down after 23 years.

Consolidated Communications Holdings, the parent company of Consolidated IT Services, is based in Mattoon, Ill. The company's Consolidated Communications Enterprise Services Inc. (ESI) operation provides business and broadband communications services to business and consumer customers in 11 states, most in the central U.S.

As part of the transaction, ePlus, No. 34 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, and Consolidated Communications ESI struck a co-marketing agreement to sell each other's products and services to their customers.

Consolidated Communications Holdings Monday unveiled a deal to acquire FairPoint Communications, also a business and broadband communications services company, in an all-stock transaction valued at $1.5 billion.