SMS, Curvature Merge To Create $500M Independent Third-Party IT Services 'Category Killer'

Systems Maintenance Services (SMS) and Curvature, two formidable independent third-party IT services vendors, have merged in a deal that creates a $500 million market leader.

The deal, which is slated to close by the end of February, will merge $250 million IT services and lifecycle maintenance provider SMS and $288 million third-party IT services and networking hardware provider Curvature. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal creates an IT asset lifecycle services powerhouse with 2,000 employees and a broad range of third-party IT data center services and hardware offerings that include server, storage and networking.

"Together, we are category-killing,’ said Mike Sheldon, CEO of Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Curvature, No. 84 on the 2016 CRN Solution Provider 500, in an interview with CRN.

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[Related: Park Place Buys Ardent For More Data Center Expertise]

Sheldon will be president and chief commercial officer of the combined company which he says will be more than five times larger than its closest competitor, Cleveland-based Park Place. Park Place two months ago acquired Ardent Support Technologies.

The new company, which will initially be called SMS | Curvature with specific branding decisions to be made at a later date, expects to make significant investments in sales and marketing.

The deal is being backed by private equity behemoth Partners Group, a global powerhouse with more than $57 billion in assets under management.

Partners, which had acquired SMS just five months ago, will own a majority share of the combined company.

John Wozniak, CEO of Charlotte, N.C.-based SMS, said the deal pairs two complimentary companies into a IT services leader that "falls in line with the growth strategy" laid out by Partners Group.

’How well each company fits into the other’s strategic strategy is incredibly rare," said Wozniak, who will become CEO of the combined company. "The strategic attributes were the exact direction we are looking to move into."

In fact, the two offerings fit together so well that – according to Sheldon – there is under a 10 percent overlap in the customer base for the two companies.

Curvature, formerly Network Hardware Resale, initially gained wide acclaim providing used Cisco equipment and a third-party service alternative to Cisco's SmartNet service. The company then moved to provide a broader services offering for all the top technology vendors with its NetSure offering.

Curvature has channel partnerships including an agent relationship with telecom master agent WTG and a hardware business that includes partnerships with top vendors including Hewlett Packard Enteprise, Dell, Lenovo and SuperMicro.

SMS also has a broad third-party maintenance offering with a partner and affiliate program.