Cybersecurity firm Proofpoint to be acquired for $12.3bn

26 Apr 2021

Image: © Nikolay N. Antonov/Stock.adobe.com

Private equity firm Thoma Bravo has acquired yet another cybersecurity vendor in Proofpoint and will take the company private.

Proofpoint, the Nasdaq-listed cybersecurity firm, is being acquired by private equity giant Thoma Bravo for $12.3bn.

The all-cash deal will take Proofpoint off the stock market and make it a private company again. Its current market cap is around $9.9bn, making for a noticeably higher offer from the investment firm.

“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,” Proofpoint chief executive Gary Steele said.

The Thoma Bravo deal will “accelerate Proofpoint’s growth and scale at an even faster pace,” he added.

The acquisition was announced today (26 April), on the same day that Proofpoint reported its 2021 first quarter earnings. It booked revenues for the quarter of $287.8m with a net loss of $45.3m. The company generated more than $1bn in revenue in 2020.

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The deal comes at a time when the mass shift to remote working due to the pandemic has led to an increase in cyberattacks and a surge in demand for network security.

“As the sophistication of cyberattacks continues to increase, Proofpoint is delivering the most effective solutions to help organisations protect their data and people across digital platforms,” Chip Virnig, partner at Thoma Bravo, said.

“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.”

Thoma Bravo has bought up controlling stakes in several cybersecurity companies in the past, including Sophos, Imprivata and the controversial SolarWinds.

“Thoma Bravo’s approach to value creation is rooted in partnering with the organisation in which we invest and looking for opportunities to both enhance their existing operations and build technology platforms that drive significant growth,” Seth Boro, managing partner at Thoma Bravo, said.

Proofpoint was also a frequent shopper itself, acquiring more than 20 companies. It most recently acquired a start-up called Intelisecure in February.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin

editorial@siliconrepublic.com