Government VAR Red River Expands Commercial Business With Acquisition

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Rick Bolduc
Rick Bolduc

Government-focused solution provider Red River is expanding its commercial business and geographic reach with the acquisition of Accunet Solutions.

Red River, formed 21 years ago as an integrator with a focus on federal government business, entered the commercial IT market about 10 years ago at customer request, but commercial sales account for only about 5 percent of total revenue, said Rick Bolduc, executive chairman and CEO of the Claremont, N.H.-based solution provider.

The privately held company has seen yearly growth of about 30 percent over the past 10 years, and has several large government contracts including helping the Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Navy move to the cloud, Bolduc told CRN.

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Red River made its first small acquisition about 10 years as a way to meet the requirements of a particular government contract, but has recently seen the need to step up its inorganic growth, Bolduc said.

"Three years ago, we noticed the IT industry, both the federal and the commercial markets, rapidly moving from a focus on products to the cloud," he said. "We put plans in place to shift our geographic coverage and skills to meet the change, and saw the need for inorganic growth."

For Boston-based Accunet, the acquisition by Red River was a way to continue its growth, said Alan Dumas, founder and CEO of Accunet.

"The only option was to take outside money, or to opt for slow growth with a few small acquisitions," Dumas told CRN.

Accunet is no stranger to making acquisitions of its own. The company in December acquired Distributed Technologies Group, an upstate New York-based solution provider.

Accunet has also been an acquisition target for some time, Dumas said.

"Every year, we get a couple calls from companies looking to acquire Accunet," he said. "But there was nothing that excited me. But we've recently been getting a lot more calls, one of which was from Rick Bolduc".

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