Thoma Bravo snares Ping Identity in $2.8B go-private deal

Ping is the latest in a long series of security-focused acquisitions from Thoma Bravo.
  • Jon Gold (CSO (US))
  • 04 August, 2022 06:16

In the latest move in a series of security-company acquisitions, private equity firm Thoma Bravo has reached an arrangement to acquire IAM (identity and access management) firm Ping for a total sale price of US$2.8 billion.

Ping Identity’s flagship product is its PingOne Cloud Platform, which acts as an underlying framework to orchestrate the company’s own security products for each step of the identity management process, as well as a way to centrally manage third-party identity solutions.

Thoma Bravo partner Seth Boro said Ping’s products make it well-suited to address the fast-changing needs of companies using identity management technology.

“Ping Identity's unique capabilities and strong position in enterprise identity security make it a great platform to deliver customer outcomes, expand into new use cases and support digital transformations,” he said. “We are highly impressed with the talented Ping Identity team and look forward to working collaboratively in the years to come.”

IAM is key to M&A deals in security sector

Identity management remains an increasingly critical part of security offerings, and other companies — private equity and otherwise — are making M&A waves in the area, including SentinelOne’s purchase of Attivo Networks in a $617 million deal announced in March.

Ping is the latest in a long series of security-focused acquisitions from Thoma Bravo. The last such acquisition was SailPoint, another identity management-focused company, which the private equity firm bought up for $6.9 billion in April of this year.

In September of last year, Thoma Bravo purchased a stake in Texas-based Intel 471, a threat intelligence provider, to go with its $12.3 billion acquisition of Proofpoint in April 2021.

The company also purchased cybersecurity generalist Sophos in March of 2020, and payment security provider Bottomline Technologies for $2.6 billion in December.

According to IDC research vice president Jay Bretzmann, the Ping deal could represent an attempt to combine SailPoint’s capabilities with Ping’s.

“Ping was an earlier identity pioneer and one of the few alternatives to Microsoft with Active Directory. It did well with large enterprise organisations, but was not a leading cloud provider as AWS didn’t even exist back in 2002,” he said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if Thoma Bravo creates one entity from both. There’s plenty of running room left in identity security and CISOs want to buy from fewer providers.”

Thoma Bravo said it expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter of this year, and customary closing conditions, including ratification by Ping’s shareholders and regulators, apply. Ping will become a privately held company at the conclusion of the deal.

Thoma Bravo is paying for $28.50 per share, all in cash, for Ping. This represents a 63% price premium over Ping’s closing share value on Tuesday, Thoma Bravo said in an announcement, as well as a 52% premium over the average price for the last 60 days.