MTS acquires Winnipeg’s Epic Information Solutions

With cash to burn after a deal to sell off its Allstream enterprise telecom unit for $520 million this spring to Accelero, Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) is going shopping, and it’s sticking close to home, acquiring a Winnipeg-based solution provider.

MTS announced Thursday that it has acquired Epic Information Solutions, a key HP Canada partner and No. 50 on CDN’s Top 100 Solution Providers list for 2012. Epic, which has a strong base in Manitoba and Saskatchewan – MTS’ home turf – will operate as an independent subsidiary. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The leadership team at Epic will be retained, including president and CEO David Reid, who will report into the MTS board. Reid told CDN the deal was about giving Epic the resources it needs to grow, and capture new market opportunities.

“It was really a decision to evolve Epic, and for Epic to continue doing what it’s been doing,” said Reid. “With evolving opportunities in the cloud and data centre, it became apparent we would need more resources than we’d be able to muster as a private company. One thing led to another, and it made sense to do the transaction.”

Both companies are focused primarily on the Manitoba market, and Reid said there’s very little overlap – Epic will operate as an extension of and complement to what MTS is doing. And with MTS having 35,000 business customers to Epic’s 7,000, Reid said he expects lots of opportunity for Epic to leverage that larger MTS customer base to explore new opportunities. Expansion is also a possibility.

“We’ll be looking at all opportunities, if it makes sense to do so,” said Reid. “Right now though it’s stay the course, status quo.”

While MTS is a telecom company, focused primarily on a comprehensive suite of IP communications services including voice, data, wireless, by adding Epic to its portfolio, it gains a broader range of combined IP communications and IT solutions, including networking, servers and integration, to address business customer’s computing, data processing and storage needs as well as their communications requirements.

“Epic has a great reputation in the IT infrastructure and managed services market in Manitoba,” said MTS president Kelvin Shepherd, in a statement. “Epic’s services complement and strengthen our existing business communications service portfolio. Working together, MTS and Epic will be even better positioned to meet customers’ needs with combined IT and IP communications solutions backed up with the best local expertise of any service provider in the province.”

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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