KKR nears US$4b deal to buy cybersecurity firm Barracuda from Thoma Bravo: sources

[NEW YORK] KKR is in advanced talks to buy cybersecurity firm Barracuda Networks from its private equity owner Thoma Bravo for around US$4 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said.

California-based Barracuda, which manages the data security of its customers over the cloud on a subscription basis, was taken private by Thoma Bravo in 2017.

KKR declined to comment. Barracuda and Thoma Bravo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The deal is expected to be announced later on Tuesday (Apr 12), although the sources, who requested anonymity, cautioned that talks, which are confidential, could yet collapse.

Dealmaking in cybersecurity has jumped in recent months as the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the shift to remote working, forcing companies to ramp up spending in the sector. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has also led to a spike in cyberattacks.

Thoma Bravo on Monday agreed to buy cybersecurity firm SailPoint Technologies, while Datto, a security solutions provider, was also taken private in a US$6.2 billion deal by investors led by Insight Partners.

Reuters reported in February that KKR was exploring a sale or an initial public offering for Optiv Security, a US cybersecurity solutions distributor and consultant it controls at a valuation of more than US$3 billion, including debt.

Founded in 2003, Barracuda provides a range of security services and offerings, including email protection, software and cloud security, network security and data protection.

Thoma Bravo took the company private in an all-cash transaction valued at US$1.6 billion in 2017, 4 years after it went public. Barracuda has since made a series of acquisitions, including buying extended detection and response service SKOUT Cybersecurity and zero trust access provider Fyde. REUTERS


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