Thoma Bravo Acquires Crossbeam Systems

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Private equity firm Thoma Bravo is acquiring network security solutions firm Crossbeam Systems for an undisclosed sum. The move indicates a growing network security solutions niche that address security threats and performance issues sourced to increasing complexity, and will likely bolster channel coffers that will pave the way for further market expansion.

Private equity investor Thoma Bravo, LLC has added network security solutions into its growing list of capabilities with the acquisition of yet another security vendor, global network security solutions firm Crossbeam Systems, Inc. It's a move that promises to raise the company's profile and pave the way for channel initiatives that will better enable partners to carve out new product and service niches in an evolving and increasingly complex networking security space.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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But if anything, the acquisition will provide strong financial backing that will be leveraged to expand product lines, marketing endeavors and growth initiatives.

“Mike and his team have built a first-class network security company with a proven track record and are uniquely positioned to lead the industry,” said Seth Boro, partner at Thoma Bravo. “We look forward to working with Crossbeam’s management to build off of that reputation and help them accelerate their growth through the buy and build strategy we have followed successfully many times before.”

It’s likely that the infusion of cash will also put more into channel coffers, and provide resources for expanded MDF, certifications, extensive education and training, and other strategic programs intended to raise its channel profile.

“Crossbeam is in a stronger-than-ever position to strengthen and expand our customer solutions,” said Mike Ruffolo, president and CEO of Crossbeam. “Thoma Bravo’s support and expertise in the software and technology industries will allow us to pursue new products and services through strategic initiatives and potential acquisitions to enhance our offerings.”

In the days before the acquisition, Boxborough, Mass.-based Crossbeam was already embarking on the path of channel expansion. Earlier this week, the networking security solutions firm took its channel up a few notches after it launched a series of channel initiatives that added an elite tier, along with resources, training and on-the-ground support.
Meanwhile, Thoma Bravo is no stranger to security acquisitions. Earlier this year, the private equity firm completed its $1.3 billion purchase of Web security and WAN optimization firm Blue Coat Systems, Inc. In 2010, Thoma Bravo also picked up networking security and UTM firm SonicWall in a $717 million purchase, which it later sold to PC manufacturer Dell in a 2012 deal estimated by some sources to be between around $1.2 billion.

Now, it’s likely that Thoma Bravo has it sights set on its latest acquisition target in an effort to round out its overarching networking security portfolio.  Crossbeam Systems, known for its flagship X-Series network security platform, offers solutions that help organizations manage risk and take on challenges from advanced security threats as well as deal with performance, scalability and reliability issues.

The niche is slowly gaining ground, attributed largely to increasingly complex architectures sourced to growth of mobile, cloud and other emerging technologies. Despite added complexity, users are still required to meet security objectives, adhere to regulatory compliance mandates and pass audits.  In addition, they’re also required to maintain performance levels and meet scalability challenges. And Crossbeam solutions are intended to fill in some of those gaps.

The promise of support from private equity will give the firm the added boost it needs to comfortably expand its niche with R&D innovation, while raising its overall market profile.

That bodes well for the channel, who can follow suit by making increased investments in related solutions and services that also serve to expand market presence, and ultimately create new market opportunities.

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