Masergy Predicts Growth, More Commitment To Partners As Another Private Equity Firm Digs In

Private equity firm Berkshire Partners, LLC. is acquiring the majority stake in managed services provider Masergy Communications, but that will mean good things for partners, the company said.

Under the new ownership, Masergy will be able to make more technology-related investments and reach more customers with its next-generation, hybrid networking solutions, Chris MacFarland, Masergy's CEO told CRN.

"This acquisition is great for the channel community because this means we will accelerate our investment in distribution, which would include our partners," MacFarland said.

[Related: Masergy's Managed SD-WAN Solution Lets Partners Address Demand For Hybrid Networking Solutions]

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ABRY Partners, a private equity firm, bought Masergy in 2011 and still holds a stake in the company. Terms of the latest acquisition were not disclosed.

Plano, Texas-based Masergy offers cloud communications and software-defined networking (SDN) services to business customers in more than 75 countries. Masergy currently has about 135 distinct channel partners, including VARs, systems integrators and master agent partners, MacFarland said.

Master agent Intelisys partners with Masergy, and is doing a great deal of business with the provider because solution providers are very interested in Masergy's SD-WAN and managed security offerings, said Andrew Pryfogle, senior vice president of cloud transformation for Petaluma, California-based Intelisys.

According to Pryfogle, Masergy has been very committed to the channel, and the MSP has helped partners close big deals. The acquisition is very positive news for Masergy's management team, he added.

"The management team will remain in place, and they now get to throw gas on this business to grow even faster," he said. "We fully expect Masergy to continue to be a leader in our portfolio, especially on a global scale."

Masergy will still operate independently under Berkshire Partners, so existing channel partners won't see any disruption, MacFarland said.

"This means continuity, and we won't miss a step from an operational standpoint," he said. Additionally, Masergy will be able to make technology and distribution investments at a faster pace.

"Berkshire has a long history of investing significantly in tech companies similar in size to Masergy, and is able to support management teams and help navigate the next stage of the business. For us, it's growing from doing about $300 million a year in revenue, to more than double that in a few years from now," he said.

Masergy tapped Evercore Partners, an investment banking advisory firm as its financial advisor for this transaction.