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MSP Cantey Tech Acquires Palindrome Consulting, Entering Florida Market

Joseph F. Kovar

‘We’ve been aggressively looking to do an acquisition for a year. We’re looking to bring on and integrate MSPs in an active peer group type environment. We’re careful about our acquisitions. We’re picky because we want to do it right to build a larger MSP across the southeast U.S.,’ says Willis Cantey, president of Cantey Tech.

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Willis Cantey

Cantey Tech Consulting, a fast-growing MSP that’s been on the Inc. 5000 list of most successful companies in America for nine of the last 10 years, is looking to build its southeastern U.S. presence with the acquisition of Palindrome Consulting.

Palindrome Consulting is the second acquisition for Cantey Tech, which in July 2021 received a significant investment from Reston, Va.-based private equity firm LNC Partners with the goal of building a platform MSP, or an MSP with one of its goals being acquiring peers to build a bigger market presence, said Willis Cantey, president of the Charleston, S.C.-based MSP.

“We’ve been aggressively looking to do an acquisition for a year,” Cantey told CRN. “We’re looking to bring on and integrate MSPs in an active peer group type environment. We’re careful about our acquisition. We’re picky because we want to do it right to build a larger MSP across the southeast U.S.”

[Related: Thinking Of Buying Or Selling An MSP? Here Are 6 Tips From Experts]

By “peer group” environment, Cantey said that in an acquisition, the parties involved are stronger together.

“When you bring on other businesses like Palindrome, you get stronger in different ways,” he said. “We want to learn from each other. We want management to stay on and work like a peer group.”

Hollywood, Fla.-based Palindrome Consulting was growing into a high-end MSP performing well in an area in which Cantey Tech was looking to expand, Cantey said. The company is in a great market and anchored by a fantastic group of people under its Founder and President Ilan Sredni, and is culturally well aligned with Cantey Tech, he said.

“If I had known we were that good looking, I would have asked for more money,” Sredni told CRN.

Both Cantey Tech and Palindrome Consulting have similar corporate and family values, Sredni said.

Neither Cantey nor Sredni would discuss the value of the acquisition. However, Cantey did say Palindrome was a very profitable business run by a careful business owner.

Palindrome Consulting will bring 20 employees, including Sredni, to Cantey Tech. The company also brings international support capabilities with a bilingual staff including employees outside the U.S.

“Ilan and his team, in addition to doing a great job in U.S. tech support, also provide support in other countries,” Cantey said. “About half the Palindrome team is bilingual. Ilan’s client base is a little more international than that of most MSPs, so we’ll also be able to find great people across the world to help.”

“International is one of our competitive advantages,” Sredni said.

LNC Partners, which invests in companies with good growth potential, originally invested in Cantey Tech with the idea of growing a large MSP, said Kevin Cunningham, managing director of the private equity firm. Cantey Tech is its only MSP investment, Cunningham told CRN.

“We looked at a number of MSPs and found Cantey Tech had a deep management team in place, as well as some of the best systems we’ve seen,” he said. “We also saw best-in-class revenue opportunities and the ability to lead in growth.”

Cunningham and Cantey declined to discuss how much LNC invested in Cantey Tech.

Abe Garver, MSP team leader and managing director at Focus Investment Banking, told CRN that his company has been the catalyst for or advisor on multiple platform MSPs, and that Cantey Tech is one of the fastest he has seen in terms of organic growth, which to investors is more important than inorganic growth.

“Willis Cantey has a very smart approach to thinking of an acquisition as a peer group, of making the peer group stronger than approaching the market separately,” Garver said.

Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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