While mid-market M&A is slowing down, technology deals are speeding up, and private equity firms are ramping up investments in the sector. The opportunities are coming from long-term advancements that make information technology (IT) services less expensive and easier to distribute than ever before. The most significant is cloud computing, which harnesses networks of computers hosted on the Internet.
One firm that has made dozens of investments in cloud computing is Thoma Bravo. With offices in Chicago and San Francisco, the firm won Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2014 M&A Mid-Market Award for Deal of the Year for the $930 million purchase of cloud-based TravelClick. In 2015, Thoma Bravo closed a $1 billion fund and recently teamed up with Silver Lake Partners to purchase SolarWinds Inc. (NYSE: SWI) in a take-private deal valued at $4.5 billion. The target develops IT software and has been migrating its offerings from the site-license model to the cloud subscription model.