PE Firm ClearLight Partners Invests In ICS, A Major MSP

ICS, a prominent managed IT services provider (MSP) in Endicott, New York, has received an investment from ClearLight Partners, a private equity company. Although the financial terms of the deal have not been made public, ICS CEO Kevin Blake continues to retain ownership of the MSP.

Founded in 1986, ICS currently serves SMBs across various verticals, operating from its three offices in upstate New York. The service portfolio of the company includes managed services, cloud migration and other project based services, cybersecurity, and software and hardware reselling.

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ClearLight Partners, a PE firm in Southern California, has raised close to a billion dollars in capital since its inception across three funds. ClearLight invests in well-established and profitable mid-sized companies with promising growth prospects. For the investment deal between ICS and ClearLight, FOCUS Investment Banking served as the exclusive financial advisor to ICS.

This deal has taken place within a month of ICS’s acquisition of Brightworks Computer Consulting of Ithaca, NY. Commenting on the investment deal with ICS, ClearLight Partner Josh Mack said that their firm appreciated the work culture and organization that Kevin and his team have created and was impressed with their ability to deliver outstanding service to clients.

Kevin Blake said that ClearLight had a well-defined approach towards the MSP industry, and it was apparent from the outset that ClearLight and ICS would be a solid match. Blake expressed his confidence that together they would be able to create a leading MSP in the Northeast that is known for keeping its client ahead of the fast-changing technological and cybersecurity landscape and help them compete more effectively in the market.

The managing partner at ClearLight, Michael Kaye also expressed his delight at entering into a partnership with ICS. Kaye said that Kevin’s leadership has led to strong business growth through a consistent client-first approach across the organization.

In general, the private equity investment environment in and around the MSP sector has continued to remain steady even amid the Covid-19 pandemic. According to analysts, from January through the first week of May 2020, as many as 46 MSP investments and acquisitions took place, and PE firms were involved in 25 of those deals.

Data from Preqin shows that PE investors had a record cash pile of $1.5 trillion during the first quarter of 2020, which is more than twice of what it was just 5 years ago. As a result, PE firms are willing to move forward with new deals, albeit more carefully in order to avoid further pandemic fallout.