Thoma Bravo bets large on tech, buying email encryption provider Barracuda
Thoma Bravo LLC has continuously bet large on the technology and software sectors. The latest move by the private equity firm includes the proposed acquisition of Barracuda Networks Inc. (NYSE: CUDA), a security and data protection service provider, for $1.6 billion in cash. The transaction is expected to close before Barracuda's fiscal year end of February 28, 2018.
Barracuda Networks offers cloud-enabled services for customers to monitor security threats, enhance network performance and to protect their stored data. The Campbell, California-based target also provides email security and archiving services. In February 2016, initial rumors began to surface that the target was seeking a buyer for its entire share capital. Following the close of the current deal, Barracuda Networks will operate as a privately-held company “with a continued focus on email security and management, network and application security, and data protection solutions that can be deployed in cloud and hybrid environments.”
Thoma Bravo focuses on software and technology-enabled services, managing funds with more than $17 billion in capital. The San Francisco-based PE firm has made more than 140 acquisitions in the software and technology space since 2003.
As companies are looking to migrate to the cloud and tech companies have steadily grown attractive to dealmakers, Thoma Bravo has remained fixated on its tech and software-focused strategy. In June, the firm bought IT service provider Continuum and purchased Riskonnect Inc., a risk management technology service provider. In September 2016, Thoma Bravo closed a new tech fund with nearly $7.6 billion to focus on more opportunities in the sector. The firm has made several other purchases also, including: parking management provider T2 Systems, secure access software provider Bomgar, software maker Elemica and Qlik Technologies Inc. Thoma Bravo previously won Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2014 M&A Mid-Market Award for Deal of the Year for the firm's purchase of TravelClick.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC (NYSE: MS) is serving as financial adviser to Barracuda, while Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Professional Corp. is acting as legal counsel. Financing for the transaction is being provided by Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (NYSE: GS), Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS) and UBS Investment Bank (NYSe: UBS). Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Credit Suisse, and UBS Investment Bank are also serving as financial advisers to Thoma Bravo, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as the PE firm’s legal counsel.