PE Firm Thoma Bravo To Buy Cybersecurity Company Ping Identity For $2.8B

If there’s one thing you can count on to happen frequently, it’s Thoma Bravo, the private equity giant, buying a publicly-traded technology company to add to its massive portfolio. This time, the acquisition target is Ping Identity (NYSE: PING), an enterprise security company.

  • Thoma Bravo has agreed to pay $28.50 in cash per share of Ping Identity, a 63% premium to the company’s share price preceding the deal’s announcement. The cash payment adds up to $2.4bn. Including Ping Identity’s current debt load that Thoma Bravo will absorb, the deal’s enterprise value sums up to $2.8bn.

The biggest beneficiary of this acquisition will be another private equity firm, Vista Equity Partners, which currently holds a 9.7% stake in Ping Identity. Vista acquired Ping Identity in a $600mn deal back in 2016 and took it public three years later at a $1.1bn valuation.

In the ensuing years after Ping’s IPO, Vista regularly sold shares and trimmed down its stake from over 80% to the current level. With hundreds of millions of dollars from previous share sales plus about $240mn expected from this acquisition, Vista will definitely wind up its interest in Ping Identity with sizeable profits.

  • Ping Identity provides cloud-based identity and access management software to help enterprises operate securely, preventing unauthorized and fraudulent access to internal systems. The company reported $299mn in sales and a $64mn net loss last year.

 

  • Thoma Bravo, the acquirer, is one of America’s biggest private equity firms, with over $100bn of assets under management. Its current portfolio includes over 60 software companies generating more than $20 billion in annual sales, and Ping will be the latest addition to this arsenal.

 

  • Lately, Thoma Bravo has raised record amounts from limited partners and deployed the funds for big acquisitions. This June, it closed a $10bn deal to buy Anaplan, a business planning software company, and a month earlier, completed a $2.6bn buyout of Bottomline Technologies, a payment processing company.

Barring regulatory or other unforeseen hiccups, this acquisition is expected to close in this year’s fourth quarter.

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