Optiv Security Acquires Comm Solutions, Expands In Northeast In First Post-Private Equity Purchase

Optiv Security has made its first move since being acquired by private equity firm KKR, saying Monday that it has acquired network and security solution provider Comm Solutions to further expand its presence in the Northeast market.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Comm Solutions, based in Malvern, Pa., is ranked No. 273 on the 2016 CRN Solution Provider 500 and was recognized as a 2016 CRN Triple Crown winner, having placed on the Solution Provider 500, CRN Fast Growth 150 and CRN Tech Elite 250 lists.

[Related: Optiv Closes Blockbuster Acquisition By Private Equity Firm KKR & Co]

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The acquisition further expands Denver-based Optiv's presence in the Northeast market, particularly in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and New York. Optiv first broke into that market in June 2016 with the acquisition of Portsmouth, N.H.-based Adaptive Communications, which expanded the company's consulting reach into the region.

Tim Hoffman, executive vice president of worldwide client solutions at Optiv, said the Northeast region, in particular, is important to Optiv because of its high concentration of Fortune 500 and large enterprise companies. Companies like Comm Solutions and Adaptive Communications have done a "great job of building relationships with those companies," something he said Optiv could continue to grow by adding its breadth of consulting, architecting, orchestration and security operations capabilities.

"It allows [Optiv] to accelerate in an area where there is a huge addressable market for us," Hoffman said in an interview with CRN. "It's been a huge focus of ours, right out of the gate."

The acquisition also adds capabilities around certain technology vendors. Hoffman said the top 10 vendors of both companies have "nice mapping." Comm Solutions has top-level partnerships with network and security companies including Cisco Systems, Extreme Networks, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, LogRhythm, Nimble Storage, Palo Alto Networks, Riverbed and more, according to the company's website.

"It gives us a better footprint with those clients and the partners in this market," Hoffman said. "We're excited about some of the different services offerings we bring to bear to those clients, given the size and scale of Optiv."

Comm Solutions CEO Paul Black said the Optiv acquisition will help bring the scale it needs to help its clients succeed in today's difficult security landscape. In particular, he said Optiv will be able to bring security operations and stronger security consulting services to existing Comm Solutions clients.

"We’re extremely excited for both our clients and the internal opportunities that this acquisition opportunity is going to open up," Comm Solutions' Black told CRN.

Optiv will continue operating Comm Solutions as a stand-alone company through the remainder of 2017, with the integration expected to be completed in the second half of the year. Tat will allow Comm Solutions to continue its growth trajectory, with the integration efforts looking to leverage best practices from both companies, Hoffman said.

The acquisition of Comm Solutions is Optiv's first major move since its acquisition by private equity firm KKR, which closed at the beginning of February. Hoffman said Optiv is looking to leverage both organic and inorganic growth to expand its business in both North America and abroad. By pulling those levers, he said Optiv is looking to achieve 20 percent to 25 percent growth, around double the pace of the security market overall.

"As we continue to execute in North America organically, we are taking a look at opportunities to also make acquisitions where there are opportunities as the market continues to change," Hoffman said.

Optiv will have a particular eye on where it can expand around services opportunities, according to Hoffman. Optiv will look for areas where customers are asking for different types of solutions, and look to invest to accelerate those opportunities, he said. Optiv also will look to expand organically and inorganically in different geographic regions, where it makes sense.

"This is all about growth," Hoffman said. "This is really just bringing two companies together that are culturally very similar. This is a way for us to accelerate our footprint in the Northeast and we will continue to organically invest to make sure we're doing the right thing and continue our expansion in this market. We're really excited about it."