PE-backed Cook & Boardman buys A3

Cook & Boardman has acquired Columbia, South Carolina-based A3 Communications Inc, a systems integrator focused on electronic security, enterprise networking, structured cabling, electrical services, unified communications, virtualization/storage solutions, audio/visual, and managed services. No financial terms were disclosed. Cook & Boardman is a portfolio company of Littlejohn & Co. LLC.


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Apr 1, 2019–The Cook & Boardman Group (“Cook & Boardman” or “C&B”), a leading specialty distributor of commercial door entry solutions, announced today that it has acquired A3 Communications, Inc. (“A3” or the “Company”). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Established in 1990 and based in Columbia, SC, A3 is a leading systems integrator focused on electronic security (video surveillance and access control), enterprise networking, structured cabling, electrical services, unified communications, virtualization / storage solutions, audio / visual, and managed services. A3 serves over 1,300 active customers across 6 branches located in Columbia, Greenville and Charleston, South Carolina, as well as Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia. The Company serves a number of highly attractive end markets, with a focus on the education (K-12 and higher education), local and state governments, and enterprise commercial sectors.

A3 is led by Brian Thomas, the Company’s President and CEO since 2012. Under Brian’s leadership, A3 was recognized in April 2018 as one of America’s fastest growing systems integrators for the sixth consecutive year. Brian will continue to serve as President of A3 under C&B’s ownership.

“We are excited to welcome A3’s 130+ employees to the Cook & Boardman family of companies,” said Darrin Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of C&B. “A3 is a well-regarded player in the highly attractive systems integration industry, with significant scale and a complementary footprint to C&B,” added Anderson. “We look forward to partnering with Brian and A3’s talented team to deepen our electronic security product offering and drive cross-selling opportunities across the combined platform.”

“Over the last several years, we have invested significant resources to expand our geographic footprint, strengthen our service and product offerings, and deepen our bench of sales and executive talent,” said Brian Thomas, CEO of A3. “As the leading platform in the commercial door and hardware industry, C&B represents the ideal partner for our team, our clients and our partners to join forces with as we embark on our next phase of growth.”

Cook & Boardman is a portfolio company of Littlejohn & Co., LLC. A3 represents C&B’s second acquisition since being acquired by Littlejohn in October 2018.

About Cook & Boardman Group
Cook & Boardman is a leading specialty distributor of commercial metal and wood doors, door frames, door hardware, and related products, including access control devices and specialty products. The Company serves the non-residential market, including the commercial, education, municipal, healthcare, office, and hospitality sectors. Cook & Boardman is headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and operates thirty-five locations across twelve states.

About Littlejohn & Co., LLC
Littlejohn & Co., LLC is a Greenwich, Connecticut-based investment firm focused on private equity and debt investments primarily in middle market companies. The firm seeks to build sustainable success for its portfolio companies through a disciplined approach to engineering change. For more information about Littlejohn, visit