Sophos to be Acquired by Thoma Bravo to Bolster Their Impressive Security Portfolio

Sophos to be Acquired by Thoma Bravo to Bolster Their Impressive Security Portfolio
Sophos, a global leader in cloud-enabled next-generation cybersecurity, today announced that Thoma Bravo, a US-based private equity firm, has made an offer to acquire Sophos (LSE: SOPHOS) for $7.40 USD per share, representing an enterprise value of approximately $3.9 billion. The board of directors of Sophos have stated their intention to unanimously recommend the offer to the company’s shareholders.
This move by Thoma Bravo is a continuation of their agrressive posture in taking a stake in the IT Cybersecurity space.
Sophos will join a long list of current Security companies owned by (or with stakes in) Thoma Bravo. The list includes:

  • Barracuda
  • Centrify
  • ConnectWise
  • Continuum
  • Digicert
  • Idaptive
  • Imperva
  • Imprivata
  • LogRhythm
  • McAfee
  • Solarwinds
  • Veracode

Perhaps the most interesting in that list is McAfee, where Thoma Bravo owns a minority stake. Both Sophos and Mcafee are older players in the end point security space, a market being flooded with new players with new approaches. It’s difficult to know whether this marks the end of Thoma Bravo’s interest in McAfee or whether it’s the start of an approach to merge together a few of the end point players to take a dominant position in that competitive space.

With Broadcom acquiring Symantec and claiming they will be laser focused on the top 2000 accounts, it leaves a large open playing field for well-funded end point players to chase the long list of smaller Symantec customers.

Sophos press release explains the following. Thoma Bravo is a leading private equity firm focused on the software and technology enabled services sector with more than $35 billion in investor commitments. With a 40-year history, Thoma Bravo has acquired more than 200 software and technology companies representing more than $50 billion of value. Thoma Bravo is one of the most active and experienced private equity firms investing in software and technology companies, and cybersecurity in particular. Thoma Bravo is known for working with a company’s management team to implement best practices, invest in growth initiatives, drive innovation, and deliver superior operating results.

“Today marks an exciting milestone in the ongoing journey of Sophos,” said Kris Hagerman, CEO, Sophos. “Sophos is actively driving the transition in next-generation cybersecurity solutions, leveraging advanced capabilities in cloud, machine learning, APIs, automation, managed threat response, and more. We continue to execute a highly-effective and differentiated strategy, and we see this offer as a compelling validation of Sophos, its position in the industry and its progress.
It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. To date Thoma Bravo has not merged any of its security acquisitions, we wonder if this purchase may mark a different strategy.

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