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It’s Official: Centrify-Thycotic Merger To Form Identity Superstar

Michael Novinson

The combined company will be led recently-appointed Centrify CEO and former Symantec Enterprise Head Art Gilliland, while James Legg, who has led Thycotic since July 2015, will step into the president role.

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Private equity firm TPG Capital is bringing together privileged access management (PAM) powerhouses Thycotic and Centrify to create a leading cloud identity security vendor.

The combined company will be led by former Symantec Enterprise Head and Skyport Systems CEO Art Gilliland, who in January was announced as Centrify’s next CEO. James Legg, who has led Thycotic since July 2015, will be named president of the combined business.

TPG announced in late January that it would be acquiring Santa Clara, Calif.-based Centrify from Thoma Bravo for an undisclosed amount, and that deal has now closed. Meanwhile, PE Hub first reported late Monday that TPG has agreed to purchase Washington D.C.-based Thycotic from Insight Partners for $1.4 billion. The formal deal announcement Tuesday afternoon didn’t disclose a purchase price for Thycotic.

[Related: TPG Capital To Buy Thycotic For $1.4B, Merge It With Rival Centrify: Report]

“Now more than ever, organizations are looking to strengthen their capabilities to ensure improved protection from the ever-increasing risk of cyber-intrusions,” Gilliland said in a statement. “The combined company will deliver one of the most comprehensive product offerings in the business with the ability to adopt and scale to meet the evolving needs of customers.”

The name for the combined company going forward wasn’t disclosed, and the company didn’t respond to a request for comment. Gilliland came to Centrify after leading Symantec through its tumultuous $10.7 billion sale to Broadcom. He joined Symantec in November 2018 to run the enterprise division’s product and engineering teams and left two years later as part of a Symantec executive exodus.

Thycotic, meanwhile, has been the fastest-growing company in the PAM market, growing at 40 percent year over year, one source told PE Hub. The company generated $120 million in revenue - $100 million of which is recurring on an annual basis - and is nearly breakeven on earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), according to PE Hub.

“Combining these two synergistic platforms allows us to offer customers an expanded range of products to address their increasingly complex security requirements,” Legg said in a statement. “Thycotic and Centrify together will help companies navigate this new environment with an innovative and intuitive product suite, backed by some of the most experienced operators in the identity security sector.”

The two companies have been on opposite trajectories in recent years. Centrify is now on its third owner and fourth top executive since summer 2018, and the company has seen its headcount tumble from nearly 500 employees in fall 2018 to just 294 workers today following continued job reductions as well as the spin out of its Identity-as-a-Service business into a standalone company called Idaptive.

Conversely, Thycotic now employs 519 people after increasing its head count by 13 percent over the past year and 51 percent over the past two years, according to LinkedIn. The company increased its global channel sales by 28 percent and partner deal registrations by 17 percent in 2020 thanks to new educational initiatives, enhanced customer service and marketing support for partners, Thycotic said.

Thycotic empowers more than 12,500 organizations across the world to manage privileged access and has a history of deployment speed and leadership in the cloud. Meanwhile, Centrify has strong identity bridging capabilities and a history of operating in highly complex environments, and counts the world’s largest financial institutions, intelligence agencies, and critical infrastructure firms among its customers.

“The combination of Thycotic and Centrify creates a leader in one of the most important and strategic sub-sectors of security software,” TPG Capital Partner Tim Millikin said in a statement. “TPG has long believed that this sector is poised for rapid growth, and we believe this new company will drive the adoption of this essential software.”

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