Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Venture Sells Out

Yet another Mississippi business is taken over by a foreign company.  PR Newswire reported:


ConvergeOne Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: CVON), a leading global IT services provider of collaboration and technology solutions, today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire VT Consolidated, Inc. ("Venture Technologies"), a leading solutions integrator headquartered in Ridgeland, Mississippi. WhiteLight Group, a business application consulting entity acquired by Venture Technologies in 2016, is not included in this transaction. Venture Technologies delivers premise infrastructure solutions, collaboration solutions, and cloud services to businesses nationwide. Completion of the transaction is expected to occur within 30 days.

"This acquisition will complement ConvergeOne's already comprehensive portfolio and expand the collaboration solutions we offer customers today," said John A. McKenna Jr., Chairman and CEO, ConvergeOne. "Venture Technologies has a strong portfolio of cloud and data center services, as well as business expertise in the education, healthcare, and financial services verticals. This acquisition will enable ConvergeOne to increase our presence in the southern and western United States and advance our leadership position as a single-source provider of collaboration cloud offers, services, and support."

ConvergeOne serves as a trusted advisor to more than 10,400 customers, including 62 percent of the Fortune 100 and 48 percent of the Fortune 500 customers across the healthcare, finance, manufacturing, education, and energy industries.

Growth through acquisition is an integral part of ConvergeOne's long-term business strategy to develop a comprehensive portfolio that provides one of the broadest and deepest solution offers in the industry.

"Venture Technologies' 32 years of success is grounded in the principles of honoring commitments and treating our staff, customers and technology partners with integrity and respect," said Gerard Gibert, CEO, Venture Technologies. "From initial discussions with ConvergeOne, it was evident that our companies share these values. By joining ConvergeOne, our customers will gain access to a broader solutions portfolio, and our staff will have access to expanded opportunities afforded by a growing, nationwide organization. We are thrilled to be joining the ConvergeOne team." Article

52 comments:

Poli-Watch said...

Somehow this will clear the way for Gibert to join Espy in an unsuccessful attempt to unseat Hyde-Smith. Gerard has gotten way too big for his britches. But he, nevertheless, is 'thrilled'.

Anonymous said...

Employees are screwed.

Anonymous said...

Let the jealousy and hate begin to spew by the regulars on here. Congrats to Gibert!

Anonymous said...

Too big for his britches? Someone is considering public service and they are "too big for their britches." Yes, I suppose he should "know his place." Said place apparently is a lifetime of accomplishment that almost none of the deadbeats we currently have in the multitude of elected offices would begin to approach. Most of them have reached their maximum earning potential by being elected. How horrible it would be to have someone accomplished in public service.

Anonymous said...

How isn't this a good thing? I thought we want people to invest in Mississippi... there's not really a lot of extra capital floating around domestically.

Anonymous said...

ConvergeOne is getting taken out by a private equity firm. The market space is drowning (red ink) in excess capacity. This is a get out while the getting is good pennies-on-the-dollar fire sale. CVC Cap Partners, the real buyer, is only interested in the top line revenue from the customer base. There won't be another plug nickel of investment in Mississippi. Just watch.

Anonymous said...


Employees are screwed.

Venture is top heavy. The consolidator is being consolidated.

Anonymous said...

@9:17 Flatworld saw the writing on the wall. Surprised it took them this long.

intelligent_guy said...

This is the normal life cycle for businesses in today's world. Good, bad or indifferent, the days of family-run businesses lasting generations is long gone. Prepare yourselves, because Ergon, C-Spire and Tellus - and probably Yates (just to name a few) will eventually go the same way. The natural end for the vast majority of for-profit entities is to either a) be absorbed by another operating entity (like this CVON/VT deal), b) go public or c) go bankrupt. Many will trade hands one or more times, from founder/operators to private equity firm to another private equity firm, but they will almost all trade.

It is naive to believe that VT's sale to another company - or Viking's sale or Bomgar's sale or Tenax's sale - is somehow a betrayal of Mississippi. These owners need/want liquidity, and selling some or all of their company is the way to do it. This is ultimately why they took the risk and started the business in the first place - to get paid. I say a hearty congratulations to Gibert and Katool and anyone else who put their money, time and effort into VT.

The concern here is not that these businesses are selling to out-of-state buyers. The concern is that Mississippi doesn't have enough capital and entrepreneurs to keep a steady flow of companies starting up and growing to generate jobs and wealth. Transactions like this are a weekly occurrence in cities like Dallas, Houston, Nashville and Atlanta. No one in those markets is moaning about it, because those economies continue to create new businesses.

Now, someone smarter than me can suggest how Mississippi can fix this problem.

Anonymous said...

It’s over for all involved.

Death spiral.

Shoot yourselves

Anonymous said...

@ 8:48 AM

Well said. Thank you.

Kingfish said...

Would like to see some of our own companies being the ones that get bigger and gobble up others.

Mississippi = economic colony.

Anonymous said...

You can like Gerard or you can hate Gerard. But I don't see where he has done anything wrong by selling. And I don't think he has done anything wrong if he decides to run for office. Then you can vote for him, or you can vote for his opponent. It really is that simple.

intelligent_guy said...

Fish,

I am right there with you. Some bright spots would be Bancorp South (BXS) and Hancock Bank (HWC) - both have been consolidators. Hancock's acquisition of Whitney Bank was bold.

VT was a consolidator - they acquired a few companies over the past years, and Ergon has done some deals as well. However, VT didn't get big enough fast enough in their industry to be the platform that an investor would use to continue consolidation. Ergon is perhaps big enough to be a platform play, so if the Lampton's were to sell to a PE firm, there is a chance that Ergon would live on as a MS-based company for some period of time. However, PE firms target a 5-year investment cycle for companies, so even if Ergon (or C-Spire, etc.) were to sell to a PE firm, it would be traded again.

HWC and BXS are both publicly traded, so perhaps a bit safer from being bought out, but it is still a possibility - as in Deposit Guaranty, Parkway and Chemfirst.

Anonymous said...

MBA's gonna MBA!


(Masters in Business Administration gonna Manage By Acquisition!)

Anonymous said...

Everyone here is free to start their own company, put in 100+ hours a week in the early days, become highly profitable, and then decide not to sell. As others have said, this is normal business transactions, especially in the tech sector. Mississippi just has few home grown businesses. And whatever Gerard pursues, or doesn’t, maybe Mississippi finally decides it might be beneficial to have someone who spent his life building a business in office, not someone who spent his life building his political resume.

Realist said...

8:48; Please read the posts that follow your (shallow) assessment. This is not about Gibert needing time to pursue a public service calling. It's about recognizing the flags on the beach and understanding the flow-velocities of a rip-tide.

Congratulations to the man for keeping his nose clean and making a lot of money and recognizing the signs. But, let's be honest.

Anonymous said...

You guys are hating on a guy for cashing in on his business success!?! I'm sure he'll be in tears over your dumb opinions of him as he counts his money.

Anonymous said...

Gibert has become to big for his britches, eh?

Let me unravel that for a second.

A successful guy in the private sector is considering running for office, and that's bad?

Look at who we have in office (for example, a cattle farmer) and tell me who's the person too big for their britches. Or rather, in over their head.

I'd argue not a single person currently in office has the experience this guy does. Unfortunately, an intelligent businessman who spent his life in the private sector is a bad recipe for winning a statewide election in Mississippi. We like farmers, former-supervisors, insurance salesmen, and truck drivers.

Anonymous said...

I attend a breakfast that Mr. G also attends sometimes. Although we are not bosom buddies, I have had the opportunity to talk with and listen to him a number of times over that breakfast. I have also kept up with him on Facebook for some time. He is a highly visionary, moderate-conservative bold thinker. He is like a conservative version of Barksdale. He is like a rational version of Bomgar. I hope to God he runs for office. Mississippi needs people like him if we are ever going to move forward. If he doesn't run for office, I hope he starts another forward-thinking business in Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

Matt Luke's recruiting budget just got a nice bump.

Kingfish said...

So you'd rather community activists and people who've never run anything before be your leaders?

Heaven forbid our best and brightest should want to step up to the plate.

Anonymous said...

1:13 “a rational version of Joel Bomgar?” Man that’s a back hand swipe. You basically said he is an idiot but not as bad of one.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish, Bomgar (the company) has been buying companies left and right if you haven’t noticed. And still based right here. New owners, but based right here and getting much bigger by the year. New owners does not equal leaving.

intelligent_guy said...

@ 1.54 PM

Actually, Bomgar is effectively HQ'ed in Atlanta now. They may be adding heads to the Ridgeland operation, but the CEO and corp office are in Atlanta. Furthermore, with the latest acquisition, the Company is changing its name to BeyondTrust.

That said, having a divisional office of a larger company is not a bad thing - it provides jobs. Entergy is a good example. They employee a pile of people in the Jackson area even though its HQ is in NOLA.

Anonymous said...

Well, there’s more people here today than there were in 2014 so that sounds good right?

intelligent_guy said...

Indeed, it's a good thing. Assuming they can find the talent, Bomgar/BeyondTrust should hire as many people in their MS office as possible. Way more cost effective than Atlanta or Silicon Valley.

Anonymous said...

If you guys who say employees are screwed did your homework, you would learn that this is a big positive for current Venture employees. Based on previous Converge One acquisitions, nothing but upside. Converge One has gone from less than 500 to close to 3000 employees in the past few years. Employees at acquired companies have fared very well with many moving into leadership roles in the combined companies.

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to Norman Katool? He was an owner when it was MicroAge. I remember when their only office was on Capitol St. downtown Jackson.

Floyd said...

What's with all you junior cheerleaders claiming the man is running for office? Has he announced? What position? What's his resume?

He's the only guy I can think of, other than Wilbert Housemann, who is more of a nerd than Howard Sprague on Mayberry.

Anonymous said...

Too bad Mississippi only elects bank teller and Sherriff deputy types. These guys are way too smart to get elected here.

Anonymous said...

You know 5:01, I don't know if you're joking but you really are pretty accurate. If you look at the current crop, ANYBODY is better really. We simply can't do worse. I'm for a "revenge of the establishment"

Anonymous said...

I disagree with Gerard on nearly 100% of political issues but he is a good guy and is one of the few people to try to build a technology firm in Mississippi. The West and East coasts have tens of thousands of similar firms but you count all in them in Mississippi on one hand. Gerard apparently plans to run for office but this state routinely rejects candidates with any type of intelligence and talent.

Anonymous said...

No worries. Feel is on the job to bring in more $8.50/hr manufacturing jobs. All is well. Who needs "white collar" jobs anyway, right?

Anonymous said...

There seems to be a line of people just waiting to "flush the toilet" no matter what story is posted. And, they seem to think the rest of us want to go down said drain with them. Frankly, I think they are ruining this blog. A well thought out and reasoned negative thought is worth reading. Most of the naysayers on here just seem to want to be heard blowing their out of tune horns.

Anytime a person succeeds and accomplishes from a legal profession, I am glad. When this happens in our area we should all celebrate. True humility is being happy for someone who wins instead of being envious.

As to future office, I am willing to wait and see and certainly consider one who has enjoyed success. Hooray for Gibert!

Anonymous said...

Running for gov or senator?

Anonymous said...

What could he run for and win? Please answer the question.

Anonymous said...

3:57, he can run for anything he wants to, but it's likely to be something statewide next year or the US Senate in 2020. Can he win? Who knows? The right candidate coming along at the right time can certainly win. Maybe that will be him.

Anonymous said...

CL seems to think he’s running for governor.

Anonymous said...

He could run for Gov. One group says Tate's vulnerable in the primary. The other group responds: Not until someone shows up with $5 million in campaign funds. New retort from first group: Guess what? Someone just got a lot more than that to possibly spend.

Mississippi GOP primary voters do like self-made businessmen: Leon Bramlett; Gil Carmichael, Kirk Fordice; Haley; Delbert etc.

Anonymous said...

Gibert would be an outstanding Governor. He is a moderate conservative who understands economic development and what it takes to be successful. He would crush Tater Tot in the primary.

Anonymous said...

Reeves is a moderate too.

Anonymous said...

2:16 - You dunce! The only one you listed who is a 'self made businessman' who got elected is Fordice. You left out the truck driver. Gerund Scabbart is less known than the truck driver.

Anonymous said...

I will probably vote for the Democratic nominee (Jim Hood or Howard Sherman) but would like to see someone like Gerard as the GOP nominee. Tennessee has done extremely well with Haslam as Governor. Mississippi needs to move forward and Tate will be nothing but 8 more years of Confederate Phil.

Anonymous said...

Gerard isn't a moderate. But he'd focus more on the economic issues instead of God, guns, and gays like Tater would.

Anonymous said...

Gerard is far too sophisticated for MS.

Anonymous said...

The comments about such are interesting, to say the least. But, I'll offer a personal perspective to the original crux of the post and the notion that Gerard would seek public office.

First, VT should have been a multi-billion dollar business. Gerard was indeed on the cusp of the modern technical revolution, but he was limited by himself. When he was not the smartest person in the room, he strode to at least appear to be. Meaning that he was responsible for tying his own hands and not taking advantage of high gain/low risk opportunities.

The business' growth was through acquisition, not really through his personal innovation but that was available to him at times.... it just wasn't his idea. In my 20yo experience with him in various ventures of my own, I found him to be a good used car salesman but a poor mechanic. I certainly don't fault him for selling the business, but the flag-wavers her appear to paint a different picture than the one presented to me, personally.

With that said, he would likely make a great for him politician, just not a good for Mississippi politician.

Anonymous said...

If Gerard isn't a moderate, what is he?

Anonymous said...

10:32 AM He is moderate on some issues and right wing on others. He might have some chance if he spends enough and positions himself like Haslam in Tennessee but it would be a real long shot. Tate will run a very hate filled campaign attacking women, blacks, immigrants, gays, teachers, and anyone who is not part of the uneducated racist base.

Anonymous said...

He is moderate on some issues and right wing on others.

Since you believe you authoritatively know, what the issues and where does he stand on those issues.

All Aboarrrrrrrrrd.. said...

I thought this thread was about a business fire-sale. Now you guys have Gibert standing on the back car of a short train, waving at flocks of admiring voters, de-training at whistle-stops to kiss babies.

But it's always good to see Russ Latino stop by for a few posts.

Kingfish said...

Y'all complain about the brain drain yet the sellouts contribute to the brain drain. The middle and upper level management jobs disappear as consolidation takes place. The kids graduating from college have no decent job prospects or those that pay decent money so they go out of state.

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