Private equity, MSP, Content

Thoma Bravo Completes Sophos Acquisition; Affirms MSP Cybersecurity Push


Private equity firm Thoma Bravo's $3.9 billion buyout of Sophos has been completed, and the two companies remain deeply committed to an MSP-centric cybersecurity push, the firms said today.

Scott Barlow, VP, Global MSP, Sophos
Scott Barlow, VP, Global MSP, Sophos

This is M&A deal Number 131 that ChannelE2E has covered so far in 2020. See the complete M&A deal list here.

Sophos was an early mover in the MSP partner market. Scott Barlow, VP of Global MSP at Sophos, has been instrumental in the MSP-centric partners strategy.

The company' Sophos Central dashboard provides MSPs with a single pane of glass for managing end-customers. The cloud-based dashboard is multi-tenant, and allows MSPs to add or remove various Sophos security services on the fly.

Moreover, Sophos has launched managed detection and response (MDR) and other services that MSPs and resellers can deliver to their end-customers. Some Sophos rivals promote MDR services that are often sold directly to end-customers and bypass the MSP partner channel.

Sophos Managed Security Services and Alternatives

Key Sophos rivals working in the MSP and MSSP partner channels include BlackBerry Cylance, CrowdStrike, Fortinet, Netsurion, SentinelOne, SonicWall, WatchGuard and Webroot from OpenText, among many others.

Thoma Bravo, meanwhile, is a powerhouse private equity investor and owner across the cybersecurity, IT management, and MSP-centric software markets. Key portfolio companies include Barracuda, ConnectWise and SolarWinds, among many others.

Key private equity rivals serving the MSP software market include Insight Partners, Summit Partners and Vista Equity Partners, among others.

Thoma Bravo Completes Sophos Acquisition: Executive Perspectives

Seth Boro, TK
Kris Hagerman, CEO, Sophos

In a prepared statement about the deal, Sophos CEO Kris Hagerman said:

“Sophos is excited to work with Thoma Bravo as we begin our next chapter of growth and success, continuing in our mission to deliver the world’s most effective next-generation cybersecurity technology. Our transition to become a fully next-gen cybersecurity leader continues to rapidly progress. Last quarter, our next-gen product portfolio represented over 60% of our entire business, and grew 44% year-over-year. And very recently, we launched our most significant network security technology ever, the Sophos XG Firewall with Xstream architecture. With Thoma Bravo as a partner, we believe we can accelerate our progress and get to the future even faster, with dramatic benefits for our customers, our partners and our company as a whole.”

Added Seth Boro, managing partner at Thoma Bravo:

“Sophos has been constantly raising the bar with its industry-leading synchronized security, advanced deep learning technology and rapid growth within the MSP channel. We are excited to partner with Sophos to help build upon their success as they further drive innovation in cybersecurity.”

The deal's completion had been delayed a few days by a last-minute compliance check that was quickly addressed.

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.