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HKW Acquires CMIT Solutions from Craftsman Capital

CMIT Solutions has a new private equity backer, technology-focused investor HKW, and an ambitious new goal—doubling system sales to $200 million by 2028.

Roger Lewis, CEO since 2019 after former owner Craftsman Capital bought the IT service brand in 2018 and hired him, reached the $100-million sales mark last August, more than a year ahead of the original timeline.

"It took us 20 years to get to $100 million. In 2020, when we were just $68 million in revenue, we were on a trajectory to do $100 million by 2026. Our growth wasn't that great. I said if we could pivot—not a lot of people thought we could do it," Lewis said about the Austin, Texas-based brand.

"We put a stake in the ground and said we could do it by 2023. And truly the organization pivoted…concentrated on sales and marketing, and we accomplished it about a year ahead."

When he joined the firm, there wasn't a lead generation program in place for franchisees. "I said let's put in a 'marketing success wheel,' let's put in a marketing playbook, and educate them on consultative selling," Lewis said, among other initiatives.

Along with buying the brand, HKW also purchased one of CMIT's most successful franchisees, in Rhode Island, and is converting the territory to the brand's first corporate affiliate. "We're just thrilled about it, because it opens the door to go after larger, bigger national accounts," Lewis said, adding the corporate store will aid in creating consistency across the system and the former operator will stay on to run it.

Craftsman Capital is a Dallas-based private equity firm investing in lower-middle market companies with a strong potential for growth, its website says. "I think with any PE group you get teamed up with, they're always looking at how to take it to maximize their sweet spot. So Craftsman Capital, they're an entry level PE group," is how Lewis puts it. "They get on at the second floor, and by the time they get to the tenth floor it's time for someone else."

Based in Indianapolis, HKW is a middle-market private equity firm investing in profitable companies in the technology, health & wellness and business services sectors. Since 1982, HKW has sponsored 69 platform transactions of middle-market companies throughout North America and 75 add-on acquisitions, according to a press release.

“We recognize the tremendous opportunity in front of CMIT. We’re excited to be part of helping the company build its scale to meet the growing demand for technology and security services in the coming years,” Daniel Kim, partner at HKW, said in a statement.

CMIT has about 260 territories, and aims to bring on 15 to 20 new territories every year, Lewis said.

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