As expected, Earthlink (NASDAQ:ELNK, news, filings) is not done with its inorganic push to build itself into a comprehensive business services provider. This time, however, they didn't buy a CLEC, but rather a managed services provider with a data center. Earthlink announced yesterday that it is buying Business Vitals, a Columbia, South Carolina firm specializing in managed IT, security, and professional services.
Combined with its recent launch of cloud services and the integration of assets from Deltacom and One Communications, Earthlink is clearly positioning itself to address the business services segment by adding managed services muscle as quickly as possible. Business Vitals' Tier IV data center in Columbia will help the company by providing disaster recovery and cloud infrastructure.
Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, meaning this was not a large revenue acquisition but rather a capabilities acquisition. I still expect that Earthlink is not done yet. I strongly suspect their next move will be on network assets out west, where following the Winstream/PAETEC deal they may now find fewer buyers to compete with.