Acquisition Overload: 10 Acquisitions From The Channel's 2014 Spending Spree

Channel Spending Spree

In light of the major acquisition of $471 million solution provider Nexus by Dimension Data earlier this week, CRN takes a look back at 10 other channel acquisitions that happened in recent months. The acquisitions show solution providers and distributors picking up partners in the channel to deepen expertise, expand vertical reach and break into new markets. Take a look back at some of the major acquisition hits from 2014 so far, and companies to keep an eye on as they work to leverage the benefits of their acquisitions.

Cognizant Acquires itaas

Cognizant bought itaas, an Atlanta-based company, on April 22 for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition brings itaas' digital video capabilities into the Cognizant portfolio, including a broad range of services for traditional cable, broadcast and telecom environments. At the time of the acquisition, Cognizant CEO of IT Services Rajeev Mehta (pictured) said that the move will allow the Teaneck, N.J.-based solution provider to respond better to what he called an "exploding" market for video services, especially in areas such as health-care telemedicine.

Birch Communications Acquires Cbeyond

On April 21, Birch Communications announced it intended to acquire Cbeyond for $323 million, bringing the combined companies to an estimated $700 million in revenue. Cbeyond had been struggling in its earnings reports for multiple years, posting a fiscal year 2013 loss of $10.82 million on sales of $463 million. In fiscal 2012, the company posted a loss of $2.32 million on sales of $487.96 million. Cbeyond had been very open about its active acquisition search, and Birch Communications CEO Vincent M. Oddo said the acquisition will be a great fit for building a combined premier communications, cloud and managed services "powerhouse."

Westcon Acquires Intact Integrated Services

Westcon, a distributor for unified communications, network data center and security solutions for specialty resellers, acquired Intact Integrated Services for an undisclosed amount, the Tarrytown, N.Y.-based company announced on April 24. The deal will close in May, the company said. ICT and Cisco-focused managed service, project and support provider Intact bolsters the distributor's services offerings to partners with white-label services and support centered on networking, data center/cloud and collaboration technologies.

Signature Technology Group Acquires GlassHouse Technology's Consulting Division

In mid-April, Phoenix-based Signature Technology Group (STG) announced it had acquired longtime partner GlassHouse Technology's U.S. consulting division for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will allow STG, a CRN Fast Growth 150 company, to deepen its data center expertise and brings more high-end consulting capabilities into the solution provider's service portfolio.

"Our goal is to be the primary data center solution provider," STG CEO Charles Layne (pictured) said in an interview at the time.

Venture Technologies Merges With Information Systems Consulting

In order to achieve the critical mass and scale they said they need to survive in the channel, Venture Technologies and Information Systems Consulting joined their solution provider forces. The combined business brings $150 million and four data centers. The transaction was anticipated to be completed in May 2014, and the new entity will work under the Venture Technologies brand.

Perficient Acquires BioPharm Systems, ForwardThink

Perficient has been extremely active so far this year in the channel acquisition market, picking up life sciences and pharmaceutical technology consulting company BioPharm Systems and financial technology services consulting company ForwardThink. Both acquisitions helped deepen the company's reach and expertise into key vertical markets, Perficient CEO Jeff Davis (pictured) told CRN at the time.

"We've been very acquisitive over the years," Davis said. "These last couple of years we've really stepped up the game and managed to get some strategic deals done."

Acuative Acquires Thrupoint

Fairfield, N.J.-based solution provider Acuative announced it acquired the U.S. division of Thrupoint, a technology consulting company, for an undisclosed amount on March 18. The acquisition will help expand its geographic reach in the U.S., with planned next-step acquisitions of Thrupoint's U.K. and Middle East divisions at the end of April. Acuative CEO Vince Sciarra said Thrupoint's consulting expertise will add more layers to Acuative's technical skills, which will help the company be more competitive in today's services-oriented market.

Cosentry Acquires XIOLINK

Omaha, Neb.-based managed service provider Cosentry acquired St. Louis-based XIOLINK for an undisclosed amount in the beginning of January. The move deepens Cosentry's managed services and data center capabilities, the company said at the time, and adds three offices in Omaha, Neb.; Kansas City, Kan.; and Sioux Falls, S.D. The acquisition also added two data centers to Cosentry's existing portfolio of six data centers. It isn't the end of the acquisition road for Cosentry, CEO Brad Hokamp said at the time, noting that the company planned to continue to extend into Midwest markets.

Dimension Data Acquires NextiraOne

Two months prior to its blockbuster Nexus acquisition, Dimension Data acquired European solution provider NextiraOne for an undisclosed amount in what Dimension Data Americas CEO Mark Slaga (pictured) said was the company's largest acquisitions in its history. The deal will take place in two parts, the first of which was effective in February and acquires offices in 13 European countries, and the second will close deals in France and Italy in mid-2015 pending performance conditions. The deal put Dimension Data a big step closer to its goal of doubling global revenues from $6 billion to $12 billion over the next five years, Slaga said.

Ricoh Acquires mindSHIFT

Just two years after Best Buy decided to dabble in managed services through its mindSHIFT acquisition, it stepped out of the market, selling mindSHIFT to Ricoh for an undisclosed amount. In the deal, which was expected to close in February, mindSHIFT will remain a fully owned subsidiary of Ricoh. mindSHIFT brings more than 6,900 clients in 12 major markets as well as a suite of services to the Ricoh portfolio.

"It's a great fit," Tracey Rothenberger, executive vice president and COO of Ricoh, said at the time. "We think it's going to be one of the biggest powerhouses in our industry to match the needs of our customers."