ConnectWise is one of the most pervasive names in the Channel. Providing the leading operations platform for an entire industry is certainly a good road to fame — but a recent announcement has MSPs second-guessing the future of their partnerships.
ConnectWise announced today that it has agreed to be acquired by private equity firm Thoma Bravo, the same firm that recently recently took control of Continuum.
And many MSPs see this as a cause for concern. It’s no wonder, since we’ve been getting post-takeover feedback concerning Continuum that’s less than glowing. Many MSPs are telling us about a major service-level decline that’s pushing them toward ending their relationships with company.
If this happens with ConnectWise, MSPs could be in for a rough year.
How much did ConnectWise sell for?
According to CRN’s article on the acquisition, the purchase price is somewhere around $270 million. (Although the actual terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.)
ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini states that the move was made to open the company to a larger pool of capital investment and to secure his exit strategy. This decision was made in lieu of going public, as they nearly did in 2015. Bellini told CRN. “It wasn’t about the highest price. It was about the very best fit strategically for our partners, for our colleagues, for our vision and our mission … Thoma Bravo was the clear and obvious choice, because it matched up on all of those: strategy, vision, mission, our culture, and our management team.”
What will change?
The first key change will be Bellini’s exit, of course. He is to be replaced by ConnectWise President and Chief Operating Officer Jason Magee. Magee has been at ConnectWise for eight years and previously held top-level positions at CA Technologies wherein he worked deeply within the Channel. He states that he plans to keep ConnectWise focused on “cyber security, technology as a service, one click ecosystem and customer success.
Now that Thoma Bravo’s has ConnectWise, SolarWinds, and Continuum, questions are arising about the integration of these various platforms. Currently, Bellini says that there are no plans for bringing these platforms together. From a fiscal standpoint, there would likely be no reason to do so.