A former IT director for Ford Motor Company has taken a major step towards his goal of creating a £50m-revenue managed service provider by acquiring Huntington VAR EACS.
Kevin Timms (pictured) founded Streamwire in 2013 with his wife and business partner Ann Stokes, herself a former account director at CSC and Fujitsu.
Having acquired small Mac support firm EvEnt in 2015, Streamwire has now gobbled up £17m-revenue VAR and MSP EACS, buying out current owner Mike Dearlove.
EACS is the latest in a growing line of sizeable VARs to change ownership in recent months, with Misco, Danwood, Alternative Networks, Annodata and MTI among the other prominent examples.
Timms told CRN that the deal with EACS had been nine months in the making, adding that Streamwire will now rebrand as EACS. Terms of the deal, and which bank financed it, have not been disclosed.
"We have an ambition to grow our business to in excess of £50m revenue, which we set as an arbitrary target for ourselves," Timms explained.
"We won some business, and acquired a Mac support business, and have grown nicely. But we realised that to continue on our journey we needed to significantly increase what our acquisition targets were. We identified EACS through a mutual friend and heard the owner was starting to think about moving on. We realised the business fitted nicely with what we were doing and wanted to achieve.
"Over the last nine months or so we put together a plan and the funding to purchase the company."
Timms spent 29 years at Ford, including five years as IT director of Jaguar Landover. Stokes, meanwhile, had racked up two decades working for IT services companies.
"We felt the time had come in our careers to leverage all that experience and do it ourselves," Timms said.
EACS, which ranked 150th in CRN Top VARs: The next 100 last year, made a small after-tax loss of £4,000 on revenues of £16.9m in its last audited results for the year to 31 March 2016.
It has about eight clients which spend £1m or more with it annually, and 300 active clients in total, Timms said.
"They've been providing a lot of on-premise solutions over many years - and some cloud services - but [cloud] is the area of opportunity for us to grow as we've got some good cloud experience coming out of Streamwire," he explained.
Dearlove, who owned a 75 per cent stake, will stay on in a consultative capacity to help with the integration.
The deal pushes Streamwire's revenues to about £20m and Timms said Streamwire will acquire again.
"Given how long it took to do the last one, it probably won't be long before we start looking again," he said.
"I was talking to the CEO of one of the big software providers for tools in this space. He made the really interesting point that 80 per cent of MSPs are either looking to buy or looking to sell."
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