Private Equity Giant Snaps Up Proofpoint for $12.3 billion

Proofpoint is set to become the latest cybersecurity acquisition of private equity giant Thoma Bravo after a $12.3 billion deal was announced yesterday.

The all-cash deal will see Proofpoint shareholders receive $176 per share in cash, around a third more than the firm's closing price on Friday.

The two parties are claiming that, following the deal, Proofpoint will benefit from the “flexibility” of being a private company and from the “operating capabilities, capital support and deep sector expertise” of its new owner.

In fact, Thoma Bravo has made a string of acquisitions in the cybersecurity space over recent years, snapping up Barracuda Networks, Centrify, Flexera, Imperva, McAfee, SonicWall, Sophos, Veracode, Tripwire, Venafi and many more.

Proofpoint had also been on a mini-acquisition spree before it was itself targeted, acquiring companies including Meta Networks, Cloudmark and ObserveIT.

The SaaS security player’s heritage is in email security, but in recent years it has expanded its product portfolio to include cloud application security, archiving and compliance, mobile protection and security awareness training.

Email remains the number one vector for today’s threat actors, especially since the start of the pandemic. A surge in distracted home workers using potentially unsecured devices has made email an even more attractive option.

Of the 62.6 billion cyber-threats blocked by Trend Micro last year, over 91% were email-borne.

“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,” said Chip Virnig, a partner at Thoma Bravo.

“As the sophistication of cyber-attacks 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.”

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