Big M&A Update: Telarus, Mitel, CenturyLink, More


It’s been 32 years since Aretha Franklin asked, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?” In our sometimes-monthly, sometimes-bimonthly recap of M&A activity, we answer the question, “Who’s buying whom?” (in a grammatically correct manner, of course)

What follows are highlights of mergers and acquisitions that were announced, closed or offered important updates in September and October. All will have moderate to major impact on the channel — the vendors with which partners are dealing, what they’re selling, etc.

In the gallery below, you’ll find details about Telarus’ recently announced CarrierSales acquisition, the latest on CenturyLink-Level 3, Mitel-ShoreTel and more.

Looking for even more M&A? Click here to see the biggest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions from August.

8 Bandwidth-Hungry Trends for 2018

Telarus joined the club of master agents/distributors making significant acquisitions with the purchase of CarrierSales, a fellow master just down the road in Utah.

The company, which now says it will be the second-largest master agent in the industry, expects the deal will deepen its contact-center and mobility portfolios.

The move comes after, in the past year or so, ScanSource, Sandler Partners, Tech Data and Synnex have made blockbuster acquisitions of fellow distributors or masters.

This is where to read more about what made Telarus take this M&A leap.

Mitel's $430 million acquisition of ShoreTel went into the books last month. The deal gives Mitel ShoreTel's Summit platform, which will help it better take on the likes of Cisco, Vonage and RingCentral.

With the acquisition, Mitel has sped up its cloud strategy, becoming the No. 2 global player in UCaaS, it said.

Read more about how the purchase will impact partners.
Sandler Partners SoCal Summit

In a blockbuster deal, Cisco agreed to buy BroadSoft for $1.9 billion — an acquisition that gives Cisco a new portfolio of cloud collaboration platforms and business apps, but also partnerships that BroadSoft has with more than 450 telecom carriers in 80 countries.

The combined company says it can offer a "comprehensive SaaS portfolio of cloud-based unified communications, collaboration and contact-center software solutions and services for customers of all sizes."

Read why Avant's Drew Lydecker says that "the on-prem world if officially over," as a result of this acquisition.
CenturyLink-Level 3

It took the better part of a year, but CenturyLink finally got the last of its regulatory approvals – the one from the FCC – to close its acquisition of Level 3 Communications.

The combined company will have to divest a handful of assets in some medium-size cities in the western U.S. It is expected to offer customers and partners a broader and more complementary range of services, and to enable the advanced technology and growing bandwidth needs of business, government and consumer customers.

The deal would officially close on Nov. 1. Read our Q&A with channel chiefs from CenturyLink and Level 3.
Datapipe's Robb Allen
Extreme Networks-Brocade

Extreme Networks closed its $55 million purchase of Brocade's data-center networking business.

Brocade's lineup gives Extreme a data center solution used by enterprises and service providers. It also supports its growth strategy and positions it as a "top player in the enterprise networking market," the company said. This follows other Extreme acquisitions announced this year, including Zebra's WLAN unit and Avaya's networking business.

No doubt you want to read more about Extreme's big year of wheeling and dealing.
Sophos Event in Boston
Sonus Networks-Genband

Make way for Ribbon Communications, the new brand that has sprouted up as a result of Sonus Networks merging with Genband. The $745 million deal closed last month.

The combined company has increased scale and reach across products, customers and coverage area. It brings together Sonus' software-based position in real-time communication virtualization, cloud-based SIP and 4G VoLTE, and Genband's network modernization, UC, mobility and embedded communications services.

Read why company leaders chose Ribbon Communications as the name of the combined entity.
8 Bandwidth-Hungry Trends for 2018

Investment firm Vista Equity, which owns Autotask, said it would buy Datto, the data-protection platform vendor, and merge the two tech companies. Autotask – which provides business-management software – when combined with Datto, serves more than 13,000 MSPs and IT service-provider partners. They have more than 500,000 small-business and SMB customers in 125 countries.

For partners, the deal brings together two suppliers with complementary products and geographic coverage — a single vendor with big growth opportunities in mind.

Learn why MSPAlliance co-founder Charles Weaver likes this merger.
Sandler Partners SoCal Summit
T-Mobile-Sprint Chatter

A hot topic off and on for a few years now, talk of a potential merger between T-Mobile and Sprint hit its peak in October when the Communications Workers of America strongly came out against it, claiming that 20,000 jobs could be lost if the companies got the green light to merge, also accusing the companies of "cramming and slamming" millions of customers, references to the carriers allowing unwanted third-party charges to appear on customers' bills.

The CWA would get its wish the first weekend of November, as the two wireless giants abandoned plans to form a behemoth that would rival in size to its competitors, AT&T and Verizon.

Learn more about why the CWA was so upset.
RapidScale's Louis Valentino
Evolve IP-Clearlogin

Evolve IP acquired New Jersey-based Clearlogin, a provider of identity authentication technology, as part of its ongoing development strategy. It adds ID as a service to the Evolve IP OneCloud platform, plus new international sales opportunities and a larger presence in the access management market.

Learn more about this significant purchase for Evolve IP here.
How PaaS, Containers Are Fueling Next-Stage Cloud Growth
GTT-Global Capacity

GTT Communications wrapped its $100 million purchase of Global Capacity, a deal that the former says will grow its customer base, expand vertical opportunities and give it more data centers.

The companies plan to complete their integration in the next two to three quarters. They will aim for $1 billion in revenue once that integration is complete.

Read more about partner benefits.
Human Capital
Verizon-Charter Talk

Verizon said it "moved on" from considerations to buy cable giant Charter Communications.

The much-speculated tie-up would have combined Verizon's more than 114 million wireless subscribers with Charter's cable network, which provides TV to 17 million customers and broadband connections to 21 million. Veriizon CEO Lowell McAdam told a financial conference that it is no longer interested in buying a cable operator in an effort to gain access to more fiber.

Click here to read more as to why Verizon is taking a step back from eyeing cablecos.

Rackspace announced the purchase of Datapipe, an MSP for public, private and hybrid cloud platforms — and formerly a Rackspace competitor.

Calling this one of its biggest acquisitions ever, Rackspace says the combined company will offer customers and partners new capabilities, most notably the expansion of multi-cloud managed services both in North America and around the world. Data-center and colocation opportunities will be abound.

Click here to read the full article, and here to watch a video with Rackspace channel chief Lisa McLin talking about the purchase at Channel Partners Evolution.
Sophos Event in Boston
Synnex-Westcon Comstor

Tech distributor Synnex made a huge acquisition, closing its purchase of Westcon-Comstor's Americas business for $600 million, from W-C's parent company, Datatec.

The buy gives partners more opportunity to dip their toes in Latin America.

What else can you expect? Learn more here.
How PaaS, Containers Are Fueling Next-Stage Cloud Growth
HPE-Cloud Technology Partners

HPE said it is buying Cloud Technology Partners in a move to strengthen its hybrid IT capabilities through the expansion of its consulting services.

CTP is a born-in-the-cloud services company. It's becoming a part of HPE Pointnext, HPE's IT services business. Pointnext, formed earlier this year, aims to make hybrid IT simple and help power the "Intelligent Edge."

You can learn more about this key acquisition here.

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