Prospect Partners And Management Acquire World Data Products, Leading Provider of Refurbished Computer and Networking Equipment
CHICAGO, Ill.—August 24, 2010: Prospect Partners, LLC, a leading lower-middle-market private equity firm investing in smaller lower-middle-market companies, today announced the formation of WDP Holdings Corp. to acquire Minnetonka, Minn.-based World Data Products, Inc., a leading provider of refurbished computer and networking equipment and services, from a group of shareholders led by private equity firm Svoboda Capital Partners, LLC, of Chicago, Ill., and Bank of America's Global Principal Investments Group. Prospect Partners co-invested with World Data Products' management team in the acquisition.
Founded in 1987, World Data Products has become one of the largest independent resellers of refurbished server, storage, and networking equipment. The company sources, refurbishes, and sells used and new equipment to a diversified worldwide customer base of more than 4,000 wholesale broker/dealers and corporate end-users in markets that include technology, government, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, and education.
World Data's product offering ranges from complete systems to individual parts, and is complemented by technical services such as repair, systems management, networking management, and consulting. The company offers solutions for 85 percent of the server market and 90 percent of the networking equipment market.
"World Data is run by an exceptional management team that is well-known in the IT industry," said Rick Tuttle, a Founding Principal at Prospect Partners. "They have built the company into a top player in the highly fragmented niche IT hardware services industry by developing extensive expertise across platforms — including Cisco Systems, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sun Microsystems — and by servicing customers throughout the entire hardware ownership cycle with solutions that are high-quality, competitively priced, and immediately available. Our success has come from partnering with great management and we think this is a terrific opportunity."
For World Data, the acquisition was led by members of the company's existing management team, including Neil Vill, Chief Executive Officer; Marc Drews, Vice President of Finance; Becky Kramer, Director of Sales; and Bob Martineau, Director of Operations. These executives together have nearly 45 years of industry experience.
"We are very excited about the opportunity to work with Prospect Partners," Mr. Vill said. "Prospect Partners specializes in niche companies of our size, and its investment team has an impressive history of helping portfolio companies pursue smart expansion strategies that achieve strong results."
WDP Holdings Corp. becomes the 17th platform company of Prospect Partners' $165 million second fund. Overall, Prospect Partners has invested in nearly 80 companies since its inception in 1998.
Serving the company from Prospect Partners are Mr. Tuttle, as Chairman, and Vice President Brett Holcomb, as Director.
Going forward, WDP Holdings Corp. will consider select acquisitions of companies that provide related computer and networking equipment services.
About Prospect Partners, LLC
Prospect Partners, of Chicago, Ill., is a leading private equity firm investing in smaller lower-middle-market companies, managing $270 million in two funds. A highly experienced, active, and committed small-company investor, Prospect Partners focuses exclusively on management-led leveraged recapitalizations and acquisitions of niche market leaders with revenues typically between $10 million and $50 million. Since its inception in 1998, Prospect Partners has invested nationwide in nearly 80 companies within a broad range of niche manufacturing, distribution, and specialty services markets. For more information, visit www.prospect-partners.com.