MSN Communications sold for $40M;
new owners planning giant data center

ENGLEWOOD — In a single resounding shot this week, Telephone and Data Systems Inc., a Fortune 500 communications company, announced it had bought Englewood-based MSN Communications for $40 million and it will break ground next year on a 100,000 square-foot data center project in Douglas County.

MSN is an IT services and consulting firm based in Englewood. It reportedly generated nearly $100 million in revenue in 2012.

With 104 employees, the 20-year-old company offers a broad variety of services, including planning, engineering, procurement, installation, and management of IT infrastructure.

TDS is a bigger company, to say the least. With more than 10,000 employees company-wide, it provides wireless, broadband, TV and voice, and hosted and managed services to 6 million customers across the country. Those services are delivered through several business units, including TDS Telecommunications Corp., U.S. Cellular and TDS Hosted & Managed Services.

It is the Hosted & Managed Services subsidiary that will build the Douglas County data center. According to the firm, the Tier 3 center will cover as much as 100,000 square feet in a five-phase project. It will mirror other HMS facilities in the Midwest. The company’s ReliaCloud product will be deployed to provide a local cloud solution, along with colocation services. The company expects to break ground early next year.

Both companies believe the MSN transaction is a match made in heaven.

"I believe this is the right time and the right company for MSN Communications to join forces with," said MSN CEO Doug Schuck. "It's a tremendous moment in our company's twenty-year history. I'm proud of our employees for building a company that is now part of a Fortune 500 organization."

Phil LaForge

Phil LaForge

TDS believes the acquisition will complement the Hosted & Managed Services subsidiary, which also provides IT solutions and services. The president of that unit, Phil LaForge, said the HMS subsidiary will add colocation and cloud services to MSN’s current offerings.

"Doug Schuck and the MSN Communications employees have built an IT services powerhouse acting as a trusted adviser to companies throughout the Rocky Mountain Region,” said LaForge. “By joining forces with TDS HMS, MSN Communications is adding colocation and cloud services to their already robust services catalog."

MSN is the latest in a slew of acquisitions that TDS has made to position its HMS subsidiary in the growing hosted and managed services arena. In the last three years, TDS has bought Vital Support Systems, OneNeck IT Services Corporation, VISI Inc. and TEAM Technologies to build its portfolio of data centers and managed services.

MSN’s history dates back to 1992, when Shuck founded Mountain State Networking. In 1995, the name was changed to MSN Communications as the company evolved from a networking equipment sales organization to a consulting services company. The company has been growing ever since.

Last February, the company was named to technology news website CRN's 2013 List of Tech Elite 250 list.