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Cybersecurity M&A Deal: Thrive Adds Managed Services Expertise With Acquisition of Custard Technical Services

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Thrive, a provider of cybersecurity and digital transformation managed services, has acquired Custard Technical Services, a U.K. IT support company, for an undisclosed sum.

This is technology M&A deal number 950 that MSSP Alert and sister site ChannelE2E have covered so far in 2022.

A Closer Look at Thrive, Custard Technical Services

Founded in 2000, Thrive, based in Foxborough, Massachusetts, has 564 employees listed on LinkedIn. Thrive states that its Thrive5 Methodology applies its application performance platform and strategic services “to ensure each business application takes advantage of technology that enables peak performance, scale and security.”

Founded in 1996, Custard Technical Services, based in Nottingham, England, has 27 employees listed on LinkedIn. Custard, which specializes in managed services in the East Midlands and surrounding areas, said the acquisition will enable its clients, including manufacturers, charities and insurance groups, to benefit from Thrive's next-generation managed cybersecurity, cloud services and automation platform.

Custard provides a comprehensive range of IT solutions, including consultation, managed services, disaster recovery planning, IT security backup solutions, and ongoing software and hardware support and maintenance, according to a prepared statement.

Thrive CEO Rob Stephenson explained why the acquisition makes sense for his company:

"Custard is a customer-centric, no-nonsense IT support and security company that has an excellent track record of providing a superb IT experience to clients of all sizes for over two decades. We're excited to add Custard to our ever-expanding U.K. operations due to their incredible management team, dedicated employees and customers, as well as their attractive geographic location in Nottingham, which will open up the Birmingham, Manchester and Leicester markets for Thrive's Managed Services and Cybersecurity offerings."

Custard CEO and co-founder Chris Pass added:

"Custard has always been committed to delivering reliable and flexible high standards of IT services to go above and beyond the needs of the customer. We are excited to join Thrive's global roster and believe that our proven track record and our top-tier talented professionals will be an excellent complement to expand Thrive's extensive NextGen portfolio of solutions."

Thrive Builds MSSP Market Presence

Custard Technical Services is Thrive’s fifth acquisition in 2022 and the second acquisition based outside of the U.S. since 2021. An MSP with ever-growing managed security capabilities, Thrive recently took another step into the MSSP market by adding integrated security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) capabilities into its security operations center (SOC).

The SOAR capabilities provide Thrive’s global security team with artificial intelligence it can use to accelerate incident response. They also enable this team to use cyber threat insights to combat security risks in real time.

That doesn’t mean Thrive is becoming a pure-play MSSP. Instead, the move reinforces a growing reality across the IT services market: Most MSPs are extending into cyber services — without necessarily abandoning their more traditional IT automation and management capabilities.

Jim Masters

Jim Masters is Managing Editor of MSSP Alert, and holds a B.A. degree in Journalism from Northern Illinois University. His career has spanned governmental and investigative reporting for daily newspapers in the Northwest Indiana Region and 16 years in a global internal communications role for a Fortune 500 professional services company. Additionally, he is co-owner of the Lake County Corn Dogs minor league baseball franchise, located in Crown Point, Indiana. In his spare time, he enjoys writing and recording his own music, oil painting, biking, volleyball, golf and cheering on the Corn Dogs.