MC Thrive Spotlight


M/C Partners Acquires and Merges Thrive Networks and
Corporate IT Solutions

Transaction sizes undisclosed


Transaction Notes

  • The acquisitions were closed on December 7, 2016 and the combined company will operate under Thrive Networks.
  • Corporate IT Solutions was privately held by CEO Michael Cook, who will stay on board as a MP and board member.
  • Thrive Networks was originally owned by Manhattan Telecommunications Corporation (aka MetTel), and this will have been the company’s third acquisition since its 2007 sales to Staples (NasdaqGS:SPLS).
  • The combined company’s CEO will be Rob Stephenson, who has been consulting at Thrive for the past year.


Interest in the Managed Service Providers/IT Consulting space from all parties

  • Over the past year, the MSP and IT consulting space has gained serious attention from both strategic and private equity groups.
  • Traditional data center firms are looking to break into the MSP space; in 2015, Schneider Electric launched a new managed services offering aimed at driving recurring revenue for partners.
  • Private equity groups have been highly active in acquiring MSPs. SolarWinds was privatized by Silver Lake and Thoma Bravo for $4.5B, and Sverica Capital Management purchased Synoptek in November 2015 shortly after buying a cloud automation firm.
  • Many medium and large-sized MSPs are leveraging a “roll up strategy” in order to maintain competitive growth, an example being All Covered, Inc. who has made 14 acquisitions since 2012. Some MSPs also use this strategy to differentiate themselves by acquiring intellectual property and niche cloud capabilities.
  • This M&A activity is occurring among all sizes of companies, from a 35-employee Computer Integrated Services acquiring both brightstack Technologies and Shmitt Technologies in 2015 alone, to HNA Group acquiring Pactera for an estimated $800M from Blackstone Group (covered in our Sept 2, 2016 Spotlight). It is also occurring across ecosystems, two notable acquisitions being Workday buying Daynine in 2015, and AST acquiring Serene in September 2016 creating one of the largest Oracle consulting shops.


Thrive Networks M&A History

Date Buyer Target Target EV/REV EV/EBITDA
12/07/16 M/C Partners Corporate IT Solutions
12/07/16 M/C Partners Thrive Networks, Inc.
12/07/16 Manhattan Telecommunications Corporation of New Jersey Thrive Networks, Inc.
12/07/16 Staples, Inc. (NasdaqGS:SPLS) Thrive Networks, Inc.


TBP was NOT an advisor to this transaction