Clearlake Capital Group L.P. has reached a deal to purchase Landesk Software Inc., a network security provider for access endpoints, from Thoma Bravo LLC. The target will merge with the buyer’s portfolio company Heat Software, a cloud service management company, as part of the deal.
Network security providers are receiving a strong interest from strategic buyers and private equity firms alike, as high-profile breaches demonstrate the need for protection, including: denial-of-service attacks on Internet tech provider Dyn, currently being acquired by Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL); the announcement that 500 million Yahoo accounts had been hacked in 2014 in the midst of the struggling Internet's planned acquisition by Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ); and the cyber-intrusions into the computers of the Democratic National Committee and other Democratic Party groups. On Dec. 9, President Barack Obama ordered the intelligence community to conduct a "full review" of "malicious cyber activity" timed to U.S. elections.
Landesk develops software for information technology departments of small and mid-sized companies to manage computer systems, mobile devices, and enterprise applications. From analytics to unified access endpoint management, the target’s software manages and automates data security, network access and technical support for its clients. Honda Motor Co. (NYSE: HMC), Cheesecake Factory Inc. (Nasdaq: Cake), Sun National Bank, Equinox Fitness and TD Bank are among Landesk’s clients. The target, headquartered in Salt lake City, Utah, will merge with Heat Software under a new corporate name yet to be announced.
Despite selling Landesk, San Francisco-based Thoma Bravo is betting big on software services, as big companies are looking to migrate to the cloud and tech companies have steadily grown attractive to dealmakers. The firm has made more than 140 acquisitions in the software and technology space since 2003, totaling nearly $30 billion in enterprise value. Thoma Bravo recently closed a new tech fund at nearly $7.6 billion to focus on new industry opportunities. In 2014, Thoma Bravo won Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2014 M&A Mid-Market Award for Deal of the Year for its TravelClick deal worth $930 million.
Thoma Bravo and Clearlake are no strangers to one another. Clearlake, a lower middle market private equity firm with more than $3 billion in assets under management, purchased data protection software provider Vision Solutions Inc. from Thoma Bravo in 2016. The Santa Monica, California-based was founded in 2006 and invests in core industries including: industrials and energy, communications, software, consumer and technology-enabled services. Clearlake also acquired a stake in snacks company That’s How We Roll LLC and bought CNI Enterprises Inc., a manufacturer of interior car trim products.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Evercore Partners Inc. (NYSE: EVR), Barclays plc (NYSE: BCS) and Jefferies Group LLC (NYSE: JEF) are serving as financial advisers to Heat and Clearlake. UBS Investment Bank (NYSE: UBS) is acting as financial adviser to Thoma Bravo while Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal counsel. In addition to the Landesk deal, Clearlake and Vector Capital Management L.P. also submitted a joint letter of interest to potentially purchase IT company Tangoe Inc.