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Blue Coat goes from one equity firm to another

12 Mar 15

Blue Coat is being sold to private investment firm Bain Capital for US$2.4 billion, in preparation for a return to the public markets.

Bain Capital is a privately held alternative investment firm, with around US$80 billion of assets under management. The company has investments in tech companies including BMC Softtware, MYOB, LinkedIn, SurveyMonkey, SolarWinds and Applied Systems.

BlueCoat was taken private by US buy-out firm Thomas Bravo in 2012 in a US$1.3 billion deal.

In the time since Thomas Bravo’s acquisition, the enterprise security company has made several strategic acquisitions to bolster its security offerings and extend its solutions to the advanced threat defence, security analytics and encrypted traffic management spaces.

Bain’s acquisition of Blue Coat comes against a backdrop of increasing awareness of the importance cyber security following high profile breaches, such as the Sony and Target attacks.

Blue Coat says it is experiencing ‘strong market share and revenue growth’ in its major product lines, and claims 80% of the Fortune 500 as customers.

Gregory Clark, Blue Coat Systems CEO, says the acquisition ‘sets us on the trajectory to further grow our portfolio, better serve our customers and help us prepare to return to the public markets’.

“Bain Capital has a long history of accelerating growth, and I look forward to partnering with them in our journey to be one of the top performing security companies in the world.”

David Humphrey, a managing director at Bain Capital, says Bain is looking to grow the business organically and through acquisitions and to ultimately return it to the public markets.

“We are very impressed with the profitable growth the company has demonstrated and believe strongly in the future growth of the cyber security market and Blue Coat’s position in this important sector.”

The deal is expected to close in the first half of this year, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

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