Private Equity Firm Thoma Bravo Buys cybersecurity Vendor Proofpoint for US $12.3 Billion

April 26, 2021
Connor Cassidy

In the space of cybersecurity, mergers and acquisitions are heating up. In the latest development Thoma Bravo, the private equity giant headquartered in Chicago, is buying Proofpoint, the software as a service vendor, for an astonishing US 12.3 billion in cash!

Proofpoint, which is currently traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange, has a market cap of US $7.5 billion based on its closing price Friday, April 23rd. Pending shareholder approval, this would allow the firm to go private at a huge hike in its share price. The deal has already been approved by Proofpoint’s board and will likely close in quarter three of this year.

This news comes on the heels of the cybersecurity firm smashing Wall Street analyst’s expectations when it released quarter one earnings which it reported revenues up 15%! It’s also coming in the wake of the company’s numerous acquisitions over the years including Cloudmark, Weblife, OberserveIT, and Meta Networks, all deals valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Good news aside Proofpoint will be facing a tough road ahead not only from its competitors but from the increase in cyberattacks over the years. This has been exacerbated in no small part by the huge shift the world has seen to cloud services, remote working, and more transactions carried out online.

Proofpoint CEO Gary Steele said in a statement the acquisition to go private will allow the company to be “more agile with greater flexibility to continue investing in innovation, building on our leadership position and staying ahead of threat actors.”

Proofpoint’s most well-known product is its email-based security tools, which will remain a very significant part of its business, especially considering the increase in the amount of innocent emails but are in reality malicious intent vectors, hiding bad actors, dodgy links, and more for malicious hackers to worm their way into bigger networks via unassuming individuals.

“Proofpoint has achieved tremendous outcomes for customers around the world, and we’re excited to partner with this talented team at a moment when organizations need innovative solutions to navigate an increasingly treacherous cybersecurity environment,” said Seth Boro, a managing partner at Thoma Bravo, in a statement. “Proofpoint’s opportunity as a privately held company is incredibly compelling, and we look forward to working closely with them to drive continued business growth and deliver world-class advanced threat protection to even more customers in even more ways.”

“Proofpoint has established itself as a true powerhouse in the cybersecurity sector due to its innovative suite of market-leading products and impressive customer base of leading companies around the world,” added Chip Virnig, a partner at Thoma Bravo. “As the sophistication of cyberattacks continues to increase, Proofpoint is delivering the most effective solutions to help organizations protect their data and people across digital platforms. We look forward to partnering with the talented Proofpoint team and leveraging Thoma Bravo’s significant security and operational expertise to help accelerate the Company’s growth.”

References:

Lunden, Ingrid, and Zack Whittaker. “TechCrunch Is Now a Part of Verizon Media.” Tech Crunch, 26 Apr. 2021, techcrunch.com/2021/04/26/thoma-bravo-buys-cybersecurity-vendor-proofpoin-for-12-3b-in-cash.

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