The deal represents a key indicator of private equity’s growing interest in cybersecurity firms

This week, US investment firm KKR has announced that it has completed its acquisition of California-based IT security company Barracuda Networks from fellow private equity company Thoma Bravo.

The financial details of the deal have not been announced, but inside sources have previously suggested a price tag of roughly $4 billion.

Barracuda provides cybersecurity solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with over 200,000 customers around the world.

Back when the deal was first announced in April, KKR said that it would seek to expand the company’s offerings in various key areas, including managed detection and response and secure access service edge technology. The firm also says that it will push Barracuda to expand further into international markets

“We continue to see cybersecurity as a highly attractive sector and are excited to back a clear leader in the space,” said John Park, the head of KKR’s Technology team within its Americas Private Equity platform, speaking when the deal was first announced. “Given its proven track record of growth and innovation, we believe that Barracuda has the right team and model to capture business in this growing market.”

“We’re ready to deliver on our next phase of growth with KKR and remain dedicated to investing in our team and product portfolio to provide innovative cybersecurity solutions for our customers and partners,” added Hatem Naguib, CEO of Barracuda. “We‘re grateful to Thoma Bravo for their valuable strategic and operational support over the last four years.”

Cybersecurity has seen a surge in interest from private equity firms since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, with the increased focus on working from home leading to a concurrent boom in cybercrime that continues to this day, particularly in the form of ransomware attacks.

KKR itself already has significant investments in the cybersecurity industry, most notably managed cybersecurity services firm Optiv Security Inc, which it acquired back in 2017 for almost $2 billion. Since then, Optiv has expanded into Canada and Europe via numerous acquisitions and is now reportedly valued at over $3 billion.

In February, reports suggested that KKR was exploring a sale or the launch of an initial public offering for Optiv.

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