Managed services News
MSP M&A: The 20 MSP Acquires 3i, Its 24th MSP In 13 Months
Joseph F. Kovar
‘3i was a member of The 20 Group, so they were already doing everything the same way we did it. It brings a great sales team. It is headquartered in Houston, where we already have an office, so we can eliminate the cost of one office. And it has a great leadership team who will coalesce with our team in Houston,’ says The 20 MSP CEO Tim Conkle.
The 20 MSP Wednesday said it has made its 24th acquisition in about a year, this time purchasing Houston-based 3i International.
The 20 MSP was founded in 2014, but in September 2022 started a string of acquisitions to scale the business, said Tim Conkle, CEO of the Plano, Texas-based company.
“We started making acquisitions in September of 2022, so we’re averaging two acquisitions per month,” Conkle (pictured) told CRN. “That’s a bit slower than we expected. We were looking to make three acquisitions per month.”
The 20 MSP’s business model is unique and has two parts. The first is a group of member MSPs called The 20 Group that sign on with The 20 MSP to use the company’s tools, sales processes, and operating procedures to run their own business.
The second piece is The 20 MSP’s acquisition model, which identifies MSPs within The 20 Group as potential acquisition targets and then acquires them. The owners of nearly all the acquired MSPs have remained with The 20 MSP.
3i International has been part of The 20 Group for between four and five years. The company’s business is focused in the Houston area.
Conkle said The 20 MSP found 3i to be an attractive acquisition for several reasons.
“3i was a member of The 20 Group, so they were already doing everything the same way we did it,” he said. “It brings a great sales team. It is headquartered in Houston, where we already have an office, so we can eliminate the cost of one office. And it has a great leadership team who will coalesce with our team in Houston.”
Mark Elliott, president and CEO of 3i International, along with 12 of his employees, will become part of The 20 MSP, Conkle said.
“3i’s number two, Chris Davenport, has decided to move on to a different project,” he said. “Chris , a professional EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) presenter, has long wanted to coach small companies. That’s a great thing. We followed EOS four to five years ago, and still use part of it.”
While some of The 20 MSP’s acquisitions bring new technical expertise to expand the capabilities of the organization, that was not the case with 3i, Conkle said.
“There’s no new technical expertise,” he said. “This is a straight acquisition of a client base. 3i has great technical expertise, but not anything that moves us to a new place. It’s just a clean acquisition. I find that’s the case with most of our acquisitions.”
Conkle declined to discuss the value of the acquisition. “I never talk about that,” he said.
Conkle did say 3i is profitable.
“I find that most companies in The 20 Group are profitable,” he said. “We love the idea of helping push MSPs to a higher state. They can then sell to us at a higher value. Some people wonder why we don’t acquire these companies before they mature and become more valuable. I don’t want to do that. We want to get a complete team.”