PE-backed AHEAD and Data Blue to merge


Chicago-based AHEAD and Atlanta-based Data Blue, which are both providers of digital infrastructure to large enterprises, have agreed to merge as well as acquire Sovereign Systems. No financial terms were disclosed. AHEAD and Data Blue are backed by Court Square Capital.

PRESS RELEASE

CHICAGO and ATLANTA – October 11, 2019 – Chicago-based AHEAD and Atlanta-based Data Blue, both leading providers of digital infrastructure to large enterprises, today announced an agreement to merge their two companies, plus acquire Sovereign Systems, also of Atlanta.

“We’re thrilled to join forces with Data Blue and Sovereign Systems,” said Daniel Adamany founder and CEO of AHEAD. “Together we’ll harness tremendous synergies between our offerings, our partners, and the markets we serve – all to the enormous benefit of clients.”

All three firms specialize in modernizing digital business infrastructure and assisting enterprise clients in their transitions to cloud computing, but they bring complementary strengths to the merger. AHEAD will bring consulting and implementation expertise in areas of enterprise service management, DevOps, monitoring and analytics, and security; while Data Blue adds managed services and deep networking expertise. The acquisition of Sovereign Systems will inject cloud, VMware, and ServiceNow expertise into Data Blue’s client-facing operations.

The new company serves Fortune 1000 clients and excels at integrating on-premises and cloud infrastructure, with fast-growing cloud businesses built on the Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure platforms. In addition, the combined entity will be one of the largest and most influential channel partners in both the Dell Technologies and Cisco ecosystems.

“This merger creates enormous value for our customers and partners, and makes sense on multiple levels,” said Stephen Ayoub, founder and CEO of Data Blue. “Our firms share similar roots, are committed to client success, and know what it takes to grow profitably in a very competitive industry.”

The geographic footprints of the three firms are also highly complementary. Data Blue serves enterprises across the Southeast and Northeast, while AHEAD covers the Midwest and Mid Atlantic. And while both firms operate in multiple industries, the combined company will be especially deep in healthcare, insurance, and financial services.

“With this combination, our ability to scale expands substantially” added Matt Cadogan, Managing Partner of Sovereign. “Our larger, combined brand will help us serve clients more effectively, but the minimal regional overlap will allow us to maintain the close-knit relationships that our clients have come to expect.”

Adamany will serve as CEO of the new company, while Ayoub assumes the role president and chief revenue officer. The firm will base its headquarters in Chicago with continued investment in Data Blue’s hubs in Atlanta and Nashville, along with other sales and services offices across the Midwest and east coast.

The brand names of all three companies will persist over the course of the integration, with an updated brand identity being announced at a later date. The firms expect to close both transactions within sixty days.

About AHEAD
AHEAD builds platforms for digital business. By stitching together advances in Cloud, Automation, Operations, Security, and DevOps, we help industry leaders like United Airlines, Ecolab, and CUNA Mutual deliver on the promise of digital transformation. Learn more at www.ThinkAhead.com and follow AHEAD on Twitter at @AHEAD.

About Data Blue
Data Blue delivers customized storage, backup and server virtualization and consolidation solutions to the enterprise, with specific emphasis on Fortune 1000 companies. For more information, visit www.data-blue.com.

About Sovereign Systems
Sovereign Systems helps transform legacy data center technologies and applications into ultra-efficient, cloud-based platforms. For more information, visit www.sovsystems.com.