Thoma Bravo: 10 Big Tech Bets Rattling The Market

Thoma Bravo's Roots Go Deep In Security, Technology Industry

Thoma Bravo is set to acquire Riverbed Technologies in a $3.6 billion blockbuster deal that adds the networking giant's application performance and WAN optimization products to its portfolio. The deal is also being completed with an investment from Teachers' Private Capital and will be the largest acquisition ever for enterprise-tech-focused Thoma Bravo. The company has created a portfolio of companies that spans data and network security, antimalware and identity and access management technologies, application performance and availability, and backup and recovery gear.

A CRN review of Thoma Bravo's portfolio and deals uncovers why its activity has played a significant role in shaping the market for innovative technologies.

Sirius Computer Solutions

A company can invest in security technology to capture security industry market growth, but another area experiencing significant growth includes managed and professional security services. Sirius has its core business around IBM security architecture and implementation services. Sirius merged with MSI Systems Integrators in 2010, adding IT consulting and managed services to its portfolio. Both companies also partnered with Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems and NetApp. The acquisition put the two companies at more than $1 billion in combined annual revenue.

Blue Coat Systems

Thoma Bravo bought Blue Coat Systems in 2011 for $1.3 billion and since then the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based network security vendor has been acquiring technology to move beyond Web security gateways and WAN optimization. It acquired Crossbeam Systems, a firm that specializes in high-traffic data center deployments with its line of network security appliances that combine unified threat management and intrusion detection capabilities.

Its acquisition of Netronome last year added a line of SSL appliances aimed at securing website traffic. It also struck a deal for Solera Networks, adding a network monitoring platform popular with digital forensics investigators. The company has added analytics and built out a platform for advanced threat detection that competes for deals against RSA's NetWitness platform. Its acquisition of Norman Shark gave Blue Coat a virtual sandbox for suspicious file analysis.

LANDesk Software

Thoma Bravo acquired endpoint security vendor LANDesk Software in 2010 from Emerson Electric, adding vulnerability, configuration and asset management capabilities. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. LANDesk has been quietly building out mobile management and security capabilities beginning in 2012 with the acquisition of Wavelink. At the time of the deal, Thoma Bravo indicated that LANDesk would acquire several more firms.

It also acquired Shavlik Technologies from VMware in a deal last year, adding SaaS-based centralized patch management for small and midsize businesses. LANDesk now supports application wrapping for mobile apps with its deal to buy LetMobile and it acquired Naurtech in October, a company that develops the only SAP-recommended mobile browser on the market.

SailPoint Technologies

Thoma Bravo struck a deal with SailPoint in August, giving it a majority stake in the company. SailPoint founder and CEO Mark McClain called the acquisition a move that will give SailPoint the ability to grow aggressively. The company sells SaaS-based identity, access management and single sign-on. Its platform competes in a crowded market of vendors including CA, Covisint and RSA, which acquired Aveksa, Okta, and Ping Identity.


Attachmate, which sells access and integration software and managed file transfer for legacy systems, had been in Thoma Bravo's portfolio since 2005 and in that time, Attachmate added Novell for $2.2 billion, giving it its Linux operating system, its identity and security management products and its GroupWise email system. Attachmate also acquired NetIQ for $500 million, adding an identity and access management software. Thoma Bravo announced the sale of its stake in Attachmate to Micro Focus International for $1.2 billion.

Tripwire, Entrust

Tripwire a maker of file integrity monitoring and log management software, was acquired by Thoma Bravo in 2011, putting to rest Tripwire's plans for an $83 million IPO. Tripwire added NCircle for vulnerability, analytics and reporting capabilities in 2013. Thoma Bravo sold Tripwire to Belden, a manufacturer of cable and connectivity software for the power industry in a deal that Belden said would bolster the security of supervisory, control and data acquisition (SCADA) platforms.

Thoma Bravo acquired Entrust for $124 million in 2009, giving it a stake in the digital security certificates business. Entrust makes an authentication platform enabling banks, large enterprises and government clients to authenticate users trying to access sensitive resources. Entrust was sold to Datacard Group, a firm that specializes in securing the issuance of credit cards, passports and other sensitive documents. Datacard said the move enabled it to take advantage of Entrust's SaaS-based model for recurring revenue.


Thoma Bravo acquired firewall maker SonicWall in 2010 in a deal valued at $717 million. The market for unified threat management capabilities was experiencing significant growth. SonicWall also makes remote access, email security, encryption and backup and recovery software. The deal brought SonicWall private and enabled it to spend on new sales, marketing and engineering personnel. SonicWall had a strong channel program and heavily recruited resellers.

Thoma Bravo sold SonicWall to Dell in a $1.2 billion deal. Under Dell, partners told CRN that they work with the company's direct-sales force on deals. SonicWall has been trying to capture a larger portion of the upper midmarket and enterprise deals with its enterprise-grade SuperMassive appliance.

Vision Solutions, Keynote Systems

Thoma Bravo counts Vision Solutions as part of its portfolio, a firm that specializes in data protection software for IBM Power Systems. Vision Solutions acquired Double-Take in 2010, adding backup and disaster recovery support for Microsoft platforms, including Exchange, SQL Server and SharePoint. The deal was valued at more than $200 million.

Keynote sells Internet and mobile cloud testing and monitoring tools that help developers conduct website load testing and performance monitoring. The deal struck in 2013 was valued at nearly $400 million. Keynote acquired DeviceAnywhere in 2011, giving its SaaS-based platform the ability to monitor performance issues on mobile sites including online portals, e-commerce sites and B2B sites. It can support QA testing and monitoring of mobile applications.

Embarcadero Technologies

Thoma Bravo acquired Embarcadero in a deal valued at about $200 million in 2007. The database management tool maker provides database activity monitoring and database and application development tools. Since the acquisition, Embarcadero has been focused on building out a developer environment. The company, for example, acquired AnyDAC from DA-SOFT Technologies, a provider of access tools that support developers building multi-device database applications.

Empirix, InfoVista

Thoma Bravo's acquisition of Empirix in 2013 added network testing, monitoring and analytics technologies to its portfolio. The company sells a service operations center aimed at communication service providers, mobile operators, banks, insurance and health-care companies. Empirix partners with Avaya, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems and Dimension Data.

Paris-based InfoVista, a service assurance management software company, addresses wireless network and Ethernet services offered by telecommunications providers. It was acquired by Thoma Bravo in 2011. The company's software addresses issues that can hinder the performance of a VPN, Internet and cloud services on wireless networks.