The channel M&A machine went into overdrive in 2022, and this year the trade sale was back in vogue.
From Stone and Trustmarque to Q Associates and Caretower, here we count down the 20 largest reseller and MSP acquisitions that fell under our radar during the last 12 months, based on the acquired company's revenues (or UK revenues, in the one instance where the firm in question was headquartered overseas).
We considered any firm in last year's CRN top 100 or 500 VARs (including, in some cases, minority deals).
Although in seven cases the acquirer was a private equity house, a whopping 13 of the 20 companies were snapped up by trade buyers (even if in six of these 13 instances these trade buyers were private equity backed themselves).
And in a reflection of the growing maturity of the PE model in the channel, five of the seven PE deals involved a change of PE houses. Just two were first-time sales to PE.
Click through to see who made our top 20...
Private equity-backed hosting provider Node4 snapped up Stafford-based Risual for an enterprise value of £45m in July, as part of a wider drive to bolster its Microsoft prowess.
Eager to move beyond its core business of providing hosting and managed cloud services from its own datacentres, Providence Equity Partners-backed Node4 has made three acquisitions in the Microsoft space in the last 18 months.
The deal for Azure Expert MSP Risual, which turned over £11.5m in its latest year, follows on from its acquisition of Microsoft Dynamics specialist The NAV People in July 2021 (its largest deal to date).
Node4 said it now plans to create a ‘Microsoft Centre of Excellence', and went on to acquire a third Microsoft partner - Tisski - in November.
The ultimate goal for Node4 is to offer customers both on- and off-premise alternatives in an increasingly hybrid cloud world.
"As Node4 evolves as a business delivering more cloud-led transformation services, risual represents a perfect fit given its track record, consultancy skills and managed services in the public cloud," Andrew Gilbert, CEO, Node4.
Countdown continues on following page...