Bowstring Advises BEAR Data Solutions in its Acquisition by Datalink

December 3, 2014 | Atlanta, GA

Bowstring Advisors (“Bowstring”) served as the exclusive financial advisor to San Francisco-based BEAR Data Solutions, Inc. (“BEAR”), in its recent acquisition by Datalink Corporation (“Datalink”). The acquisition will quadruple Datalink’s West Coast revenue base to more than $200 million, expand its Cisco expertise into strategically important new areas, and add more than 1,000 new mid-market and enterprise customers to whom Datalink can market its comprehensive portfolio of data center offerings.

BEAR primarily serves California-based customers from offices in San Francisco, San Jose, Irvine and San Diego. BEAR had 2013 revenues of $130 million, with a large percentage coming from networking products, including Cisco wireless, routing, and core switches being requested by Datalink customers. The addition of those products will help strengthen Datalink’s customer relationships by increasing dependence on the company’s services. BEAR’s focus on lower-margin networking sales will open the door for Datalink to sell higher-margin solutions such as converged data center infrastructure and a fuller range of managed, professional, and advanced services to BEAR’s customer base.

“This is an important strategic acquisition that will significantly expand our West Coast operations and give us a large new base of customers for solutions and services that are beyond the scope of BEAR’s current offerings,” said Paul Lidsky, Datalink president and CEO. “As with our successful acquisitions of Incentra, Midwave and StraTech over the past five years, bringing BEAR’s personnel and customers into the Datalink family will help expand our geographic reach, deepen our technical knowledge and capabilities, and accelerate our growth rate for shareholders and investors.”

“Becoming part of Datalink is a significant benefit for our customers and employees,” said Don James Jr., BEAR president and CEO.  “Our customers will gain from the addition of Datalink’s technical skills, expanded services set and 24/7 customer support center, and our employees will have the opportunity to work for a larger company with a bigger portfolio that is being continually expanded to meet the evolving requirements of the data center market.”

Don Holbrook, Managing Director at Bowstring Advisors, commented, “BEAR was one of the top privately held firms in the IT consulting ecosystem and has captured significant market share in the past few years.  The transaction made a lot of sense given the synergies and very similar values between the firms.”

Datalinks’s acquisition of BEAR marks the twentieth closed transaction for the Bowstring team in 2014. The acquisition was effective October 20, 2014 and terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Becoming part of Datalink is a significant benefit for our customers and employees. Our customers will gain from the addition of Datalink’s technical skills, expanded services set and 24/7 customer support center, and our employees will have the opportunity to work for a larger company with a bigger portfolio that is being continually expanded to meet the evolving requirements of the data center market.

Don James Jr.
President and CEO
BEAR Data Solutions