Ping Identity Set to be Acquired by Vista Private Equity

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Identity-defined security provider Ping Identity is set to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners.

A private equity firm focused on software, data and technology-enabled businesses, Vista has previously acquired both Solera Networks and TIBCO. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The concept of Ping Identity is to provide secure access to enable the right people to access the right things, seamlessly and securely; Vista said that the acquisition will enable Ping Identity to stimulate growth and innovation through strategic acquisitions and focused investment in its enterprise Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) capabilities.

Andre Durand, CEO of Ping Identity, said: “This is a great day for Ping Identity as the investment validates what we’ve built: the leading Identity and Access Management platform.

“Enterprises require a partner who can effectively integrate every technology stack and cloud platform to provide secure access for their users. With Vista, we can now accelerate our vision of creating a borderless world secured through identity. The Ping team is excited to begin this next phase for Ping Identity and to broaden its reach into new markets.”

In an email to Infosecurity, 451 Research Enterprise Security senior analyst Garrett Bekker said that IAM is a massive sector with lots of private equity acquisition activity – with BeyondTrust, Courion, SailPoint and now Ping Identity acquired by private equity shops.

“I think it was a logical outcome,” he said. “Ping had been identified (pun intended) as an IPO candidate for some time, but with the tech IPO window all but closed and tech M&A off to a really slow start this year, a private equity exit was likely the best alternative for them.

“Vista has a track record of making follow-on acquisitions to help their companies diversify – they did so with Websense, helping them purchase next-generation firewall technology to fill a hole in their portfolio. Ping Identity has a pretty broad portfolio already, but there are a few areas I could see them putting more attention to: risk-based or adaptive authentication, more support for mobile and IoT use cases, and customer-facing identity management.”

Bekker doubted that this would have a big impact on the sector, other than maybe to set the stage for more private equity activity in the IAM space.

Robert F. Smith, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Vista, said: “Identity is the new strategic imperative for winning in the digital economy. With the Internet of Everything upon us, it is more important than ever to protect and secure access to any application through identity.

“Vista recognizes the power of Ping's platform and the strength of Ping's business model, and we’re looking forward to working with Andre to support Ping’s growth in the dynamic and strategic field of identity management.”

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