Window on WANs

Dec 16 2011   9:37AM GMT

Blue Coat to be acquired by Thoma Bravo

Tessa Parmenter Tessa Parmenter Profile: Tessa Parmenter

Blue Coat SystemsOne WAN optimization/IT security vendor will be acquired. Guest blogger Lisa Martinek reports:

Last Friday, Blue Coat Systems announced it agreed to be acquired by Thoma Bravo, a private equity investment firm in San Francisco, in a transaction valued at $1.3 billion. Blue Coat’s Board of Directors approved the terms of the agreement which stipulate that Blue Coat shareholders will receive $25.81 for each share. One shareholder is suing Blue Coat because they feel the stock is undervalued. While the transaction is subject to the approval of Blue Coat shareholders, it is expected to close in the first quarter of 2012.

Gregory Clark, president and CEO of Blue Coat made a statement in the press release, saying “Our partnership with Thoma Bravo will assist Blue Coat in more aggressively realizing the opportunities in its two markets, by providing a platform that enables greater focus on the business that supports the future growth of the company.”

Jon Oltsik, a principal analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, says the news of the acquisition isn’t surprising since Blue Coat has overcome its financial and operational troubles and is situated for strong growth in the coming years, according to his Blue Coat Systems goes private blog entry. “With the right management and investments, this acquisition should lead to a successful outcome,” he said.

IT management analyst Scott Crawford finds that Blue Coat fits Thoma Bravo’s portfolio well, thanks to the other IT vendor acquisitions, like Novell.

Not only does Blue Coat fit well with other companies in its portfolio, Larry Walsh, founder and executive director of the Channel Vanguard Council, says that Thoma Bravo is a potential security powerhouse with other recently acquired IT security companies, like SonicWALL and Tripwire. “If Thoma Bravo were to combine all these security assets, it would create a security mega-powerhouse with solutions that range from endpoint to network protections, identity management access control, encryption and digital certificates, and Web security and application performance. It would be a multi-billion-dollar company and a formidable competitor in the marketplace,” Walsh said.

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