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Ping Identity To Go Private In $2.8B Thoma Bravo Deal

Jay Fitzgerald

The acquisition is the latest cybersecurity megadeal orchestrated by the private-equity powerhouse.

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Andre Durand, Ping Identity‘s CEO and founder

Ping Identity, an identity solutions firm that’s been snapping up smaller cybersecurity companies over the past two years, announced on Wednesday it’s being acquired and taken private by Thoma Bravo in a deal valued at $2.8 billion.

It’s just the latest multibillion-dollar cybersecurity megadeal involving Thoma Bravo.

In April, the private-equity powerhouse announced it was purchasing another publicly traded cybersecurity company, SailPoint, in a deal valued at $6.9 billion. In 2021, it announced it was buying email security firm Proofpoint for $12.3 billion.

As for Denver-based Ping Identity, which went public three years ago, Thoma Bravo is paying a premium, agreeing to purchase Ping for $28.50 per share in cash, or about 63 percent over the firm’s closing price on Tuesday and 52 percent over the volume weighted average price of Ping’s tock for the 60 days preceding the deal.

The transaction has already been unanimously approved by Ping Identity’s board and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022. Vista Equity Partners, which owns nearly 10 percent of Ping Identity‘s outstanding shares, has also agreed to the transaction.

In a statement, Andre Durand, Ping Identity‘s CEO and founder, described the deal as “compelling” and praised his employees, customers and partners for ultimately making it happen.

“Identity security and frictionless user experiences have become essential in the digital-first economy and Ping Identity is better positioned than ever to capitalize on the growing demand from modern enterprises for robust security solutions,” he said.

“We are pleased to partner with Thoma Bravo, which has a strong track record of investing in high-growth cloud software security businesses and supporting companies with initiatives to turbocharge innovation and open new markets.“

In a statement, Seth Boro, a managing partner at Thoma Bravo, said a “tectonic shift” is underway in intelligent identity solutions for the enterprise.

“Ping Identity‘s unique capabilities and strong position in enterprise identity security make it a great platform to deliver customer outcomes, expand into new use cases and support digital transformations. We are highly impressed with the talented Ping Identity team and look forward to working collaboratively in the years to come.”

Chip Virnig, a partner at Thoma Bravo, said Ping Identity is “well-positioned to capitalize on the significant opportunities in the $50 billion Enterprise Identity security solutions area.”

As of this past spring, Ping had about 1,400 employees. Founded in 2002 and publicly traded since 2019, Ping last year recorded sales of $299.4 million, up from $243.5 million in 2020.

In a May interview with CRN, Ping Identity’s Durand said his company was going to take a rest after going on a mini-acquisition binge that saw his firm buy four companies in 2020 and 2021.

Asked bluntly by CRN whether he could see the day when Ping Identity might be acquired, Durand indicated it was possible, depending on various market conditions.

“You tend to see consolidation occur kind of on the tail end of more mature markets,” he said. “You do see it – a certain market emerges, there’s a whole lot of players, and they do get out for a period of time. Then the market kind of reaches its climax and then there tends to be a lot of consolidation.”

He added: “At some point you don’t always control what you just described. Bigger players come along and they want to play in that space and, you know, at some level every company always has to respond to anything that it comes at it. We have a responsibility to do that for existing shareholders. But I do see more companies now really paying attention to identity than I’ve seen in some time. I think a lot of players are recognizing it’s the foundation of security.”

Jay Fitzgerald

Jay Fitzgerald is a senior editor covering cybersecurity for CRN. Jay previously freelanced for the Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, Boston magazine, Banker & Tradesman, MassterList.com, Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge, the National Bureau of Economic Research and other entities. He can be reached at jfitzgerald@thechannelcompany.com.

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