The interest in cybersecurity specialists continues with the news that Barracuda Networks is being acquired by global investment firm KKR.

Barracuda Networks is a veteran of the cybersecurity space having been founded back in 2003 offering a range of cloud subscription products including spam firewalls, email protection, web filters, and backup software and appliances.

Its private equity owner Thoma Bravo took Barracuda Networks took the company private in 2017, four years after it went public.

Barracuda deal

Since that time Barracuda Networks has grown into a business that generates over $500 million in annual revenue, KKR revealed in its announcement of the acquisition.

The Campbell, California-based firm has also made a series of acquisitions over the years, including buying extended detection and response service Skout Cybersecurity and zero-trust access provider Fyde.

Financial terms of the deal were not revealed, but Reuters citing sources who requested anonymity said the deal valued Barracuda Networks at about $4 billion, including debt.

The new owner said Barracuda will implement KKR’s broad-based employee ownership program, which makes all employees owners in their respective businesses alongside KKR.

“We believe that with the support of KKR, we will continue to invest in growth and foster a culture that gives our team the resources and inspiration to continue to create and deliver the next generation of leading cybersecurity solutions for our customers and partners,” said Hatem Naguib, CEO of Barracuda.

“We are very appreciative of Thoma Bravo’s support and very excited to be working with KKR on this next phase of Barracuda’s journey,” said Naguib.

“We continue to see cybersecurity as a highly attractive sector and are excited to back a clear leader in the space,” said John Park, Head of Americas Technology Private Equity at KKR.

“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,” said Park.

The transaction is anticipated to close by the end of the year, subject to customary conditions, and it comes after KKR previously invested in other cybersecurity players including Ping, Cylance, DarkTrace, ForgeRock, NetSPI and Optiv, among others.

Cyber acquisitions

There has been a spate of cybersecurity acquisitions over the past year, in light of the ongoing threat landscape being faced by many organisations.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has not helped ease the number of cyberattacks.

In July 2021 Microsoft revealed it would acquire San Francisco-based cybersecurity firm RiskIQ to help companies bolster their cyber defences.

Financial terms of that deal were not disclosed but some media outlets reported the deal was worth at least $500m.

Then in March this year Google acquired the veteran cybersecurity specialist Mandiant in a transaction valued at roughly $5.4 billion.

More recently Thoma Bravo agreed to buy cybersecurity firm SailPoint Technologies for $6.1bn.

Security solutions provider Datto was this week taken private in a $6.2 billion deal by investors led by Insight Partners.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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