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mindshare-bestbuyBest Buy has agreed to acquire IT and cloud services provider mindSHIFT for $167 million to help extend its business further beyond retail, the company announced today.

This is an important move for Best Buy because the company is slowly becoming Amazon’s showroom floor instead of being a place people purchase electronics. mindSHIFT will give Best Buy a much better opportunity to help small and mid-sized companies with IT, cloud and enterprise services and will generally allow it to further branch out, similar to Best Buy’s 2002 purchase of Geek Squad. Best Buy also has a minority stake in Rhapsody’s music streaming service after selling Napster to Rhapsody in early October.

“There’s no question that acquiring the skills, capabilities and clients of mindSHIFT has the potential to help expand Best Buy’s global services capabilities in the vast small and mid-sized business market,” said George Sherman, senior VP of Best Buy Services, in a statement. “As important, the mindSHIFT team will bring added experience, talent and resources to the remote support capability we have been building within our multi-channel tech service unit Geek Squad.”

Best Buy will start with a strong built-in base of business customers, as mindSHIFT manages data center, cloud and other services for more than 5,400 clients in the U.S. The types of businesses mindSHIFT has a proven track record with include mid-sized business, law firms, non-profits, financial services, health care and K-12 education.

mindSHIFT will continue to operate under the same name and management team. It currently has 500 employees located in offices across the U.S., including Boston, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

The acquisition is expected to close near the end of this year, pending regulatory approval.

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