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Partners React To Ingram Micro’s IPO Bid: ‘Holy Cow’

C.J. Fairfield

“What I like about what they’ve done at Ingram is these people have worked together for some time. So now you have a cohesive team pulling in a direction with Paul [Bay] going, ‘OK, we’re going to go public and we‘re going to give more value to the shareholders,’” says Mark Essayian, president of Irvine, Calif.-based MSP KME Systems.

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James Rocker, CEO of MSP Nerds That Care

Ingram Micro partners are looking forward to the company’s potential IPO after the Irvine, Calif-based distributor signaled earlier this week that it’s looking to go public.

“Can I have a half of one share?” joked James Rocker, CEO of Bohemia, New York-based MSP Nerds That Care, in an interview with CRN. “Holy cow, this is super exciting.”

Ingram Micro was a public company in the past but for the last six years was privately held, first by China-based HNG Group and then, starting last year, by private equity company Platinum Equity.

Ingram Micro declined to comment further when reached by CRN.

Some fears do set in, Rocker said, as to how an IPO will affect the MSP community, but he believes going public will give Ingram further reach.

“I think there’s this misconception when a company goes public like, ‘Oh no, I have to report to shareholders now,’ and things start going downhill or something,” he said. “But I have the opposite approach and thought process around it that it extends their reach and potentially other opportunities that hadn’t existed before.”

[Related: 5 Things To Know About Ingram Micro’s Acquisition By Platinum Equity]

In its press statement, Ingram Micro wrote, “The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. The initial public offering is expected to take place after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions.”

The company also just launched its Xvantage platform that helps partners streamline billing and order tracking with the distributor.

Partners Weigh In

David DeCamillis, vice president of sales and marketing at Denver-based MSP Platte River Networks, said he has no concerns if the company goes public.

“One thing that the leadership team has always done with us and with me is kept us informed and put our fears to rest,” he told CRN. “Every time that’s happened, it hasn’t affected the leadership or who we’re interacting with.”

Fears that have been put to rest in the past relate to changes of leadership at the higher level, he said.

“I’ve seen it with vendors all the time,” he said. “Look at what’s going on with Datto and that whole situation.”

Over the summer, Norwalk, Conn.-based Datto was acquired by rival vendor Kaseya for $6.2 billion sparking a loud reaction from the MSP community. Datto CEO Tim Weller did not stay with the company after it was acquired.

“The first thing you think about is, ‘Crap. People are going to start leaving. They’re going to cut back on spending. They’re going to change their philosophy,’” he said. “And each time with Ingram that hasn’t happened, so I don’t worry about it anymore.”

When Ingram Micro went public before, and then private, DeCamillis said he didn’t see any major shifts, “which a lot of times happens when companies either get acquired or go public or merge or whatever.”

Mark Essayian, president of Irvine, Calif.-based MSP KME Systems, said if Ingram goes public he will become a shareholder.

“I was when they got sold,” he told CRN. “It may be good for me because people may go, ‘Well who are their clients? Maybe MSPs should be invested in more.’ It lends legitimacy to what I do for a living, not that we‘re illegitimate.”

He echoed DeCamillis’ sentiment in that the leadership hasn’t changed before.

“Alain [Monié, former Ingram Micro CEO] is gone, but Paul [Bay, current CEO] learned under him, and look at the team he’s got,” he said. “Platinum bought them because they were a profitable company, they are still a profitable company and they will go public and they will be a profitable company.”

He added that there’s a lot of value to extract from Ingram.

“Ingram has got warehouses, has got people, has got customers that pay them money every second of the day,” he said. “That’s a valuable firm. This Xvantage thing, I use it. I’m logged in and poking around and looking at how my team uses it. We did a beta test with them and they set up a Team‘s channel and we chat and everybody sees what we’re suggesting. That’s a different type of technology company.”

He believes the decision to want to go public is to become even more valuable, make more money, grow and do business faster and better.

“Paul Bay, Kirk Robinson, Victor [Gureghian Baez] who runs cloud, Jen Anaya who has been running marketing…these people were there when it was public, they know the pressures and they know what they need to do to be successful. This is not a new thing,” he said.

“What I like about what they’ve done at Ingram is these people have worked together for some time,” he added. “So now you have a cohesive team pulling in a direction with Paul [Bay] going, ‘OK, we’re going to go public and we’re going to give more value to the shareholders.’”

Learn More: Distribution
C.J. Fairfield

CJ Fairfield is an associate editor at CRN covering solution providers, MSPs and distributors. Prior to joining CRN, she worked at daily newspapers, including The Press of Atlantic City in New Jersey and The Frederick News-Post in Maryland. She can be reached at cfairfield@thechannelcompany.com.

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