Private equity, Content

ConnectWise Acquired: 10 Things to Know About Thoma Bravo

Credit: Thoma Bravo

Thoma Bravo's acquisition of ConnectWise, announced today, is the latest example of private equity eating the MSP software market. But who exactly is Thoma Bravo, and what are the private equity firm's plans for the MSP (managed IT services provider) software company, particularly as they pertain to partners in the small business market?

Here are the answers -- 10 things to know about Thoma Bravo and the ConnectWise Buyout.

1. Who Is Thoma Bravo?

Thoma Bravo is a private equity company that has worked in and around the technology market for three decades. The company invests in application and infrastructure software and technology enabled services. The firm currently manages more $18.0 billion in investments.

2. Does Thoma Bravo have experience in the MSP software market?

Absolutely. The private equity firm's portfolio companies include Continuum, SolarWinds and Barracuda Networks -- all of which have major MSP software portfolios.

3. Does that mean Thoma Bravo will merge ConnectWise with one of its other MSP software market investments?

That's not the plan, according to ConnectWise CEO Jason Magee and founder Arnie Bellini. Rather, ConnectWise will remain ConnectWise, and recent rumors suggesting potential mergers with other private equity-owned software companies are false, the two executives told ChannelE2E.

4. What are Thoma Bravo's plans for ConnectWise?

The private equity firm signed off on ConnectWise's five-year strategic plan and 2019 business strategy -- which focuses on:

  • cybersecurity, the new frontier
  • technology as a service, the movement
  • one-click ecosystem,
  • customer success is everyone's job
Thoma Bravo Partner Robert Sayle
Thoma Bravo Partner Robert Sayle
ConnectWise Co-founder Arnie Bellini
Jason Magee, CEO, ConnectWise

5. Is Thoma Bravo changing ConnectWise's management team?

The one change involves ConnectWise President and COO Jason Magee succeeding Arnie Bellini as CEO. Bellini remains an advisor to the company and Magee. No additional management team changes are planned.

6. Who Is Thoma Bravo's Point Person on the ConnectWise Deal?

We're double checking. We believe it's Robert Sayle.

7. How much did Thoma Bravo pay for ConnectWise?

Financial terms were not disclosed. But ChannelE2E estimates the deal value at roughly $1.5 billion, based on publicly disclosed financial and employee stake information that we pieced together from a previous IT Nation keynote, along with a Tampa Bay Business Journal article from 2018.

8. How big is Thoma Bravo's war chest?

Massive. The company just raised $12.6 billion for a new investment fund focused on enterprise software. We don't know if ConnectWise is part of that new fund or an existing fund.

9. What other moves might Thoma Bravo make -- outside of the ConnectWise acquisition?

The company has reportedly taken a look at complete buyouts of McAfee and/or Symantec, though neither deal has materialized.

10. Did Thoma Bravo make the top bid for ConnectWise?

Not necessarily. ConnectWise Founder Arnie Bellini told ChannelE2E:

"We did not run an auction. An auction is about finding the highest bidder. We wanted the best fit. We found that in Thoma Bravo. We interviewed potential buyers and we found the right buyer. And we selected that buyer."

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.