In the largest-ever private equity investment in cloud software, Thoma Bravo has agreed to acquire Proofpoint for $12.3 billion to boost its cybersecurity profile. The announcement of the deal on Monday came four days after Thoma Bravo closed its previous top cloud acquisition — the $10.2 billion purchase of RealPage, which serves the real estate industry.
- Security tools & cloud services: Proofpoint is known for email-based security tools. It also deals in other applications and services managed in the cloud. Thoma Bravo will pay $176 per share for the company, representing a premium of 34% but only $2 per share more than the stock’s 52-week high.
- A new area to navigate: Seth Boro, a managing partner at Thoma Bravo, said in a news release, “We’re excited to partner with this talented team at a moment when organizations need innovative solutions to navigate an increasingly treacherous cybersecurity environment.”
- Malware protection: Founded in 2002, Proofpoint went public nine years ago and just passed $1 billion in annual revenue by providing software to stop malware and help businesses protect employees from phishing and other scams across mobile and cloud. The company competes with Symantec, Mimecast, Trend Micro, and Barracuda.
- Acquisition goal: As a private equity purchaser, Thoma Bravo’s goal is to unlock alternatives for development and profitability that may finally make Proofpoint extra precious in a future IPO or at the next worth to a strategic purchaser. Thoma Bravo’s cybersecurity profile already includes Sophos, DigiCert, Imperva, Barracuda Networks, and several others.
- Scanning 100 billion data points: Proofpoint offers security as a service, focusing on securing email, the cloud, and social media. It says it checks about 5 billion emails and 10 million cloud accounts and analyzes about 100 billion data points each day. “We believe that as a private company, we can be even more agile with greater flexibility to continue investing in innovation, building on our leadership position, and staying ahead of threat actors,” said Gary Steele, CEO of Proofpoint.