Websense to Go Private in $900 Million Buyout by Vista Equity Partners
A private equity firm, Vista Equity Partners, will buy Websense, which makes Internet content-security systems.Websense, a content-security provider, has agreed to be purchased by private equity firm Vista Equity Partners in a cash-for-stock deal worth approximately $907 million, the companies said in an announcement on May 20. The planned sale continues a trend among many technology companies—including Blue Coat Systems, BMC Software, and SonicWall—to return to private management. Vista will pay $24.75 for each share of Websense stock held by investors, a price that is 29 percent more than the stock's closing price as of Friday, May 17, and 53 percent more than the average closing price over the past two months, Websense stated in its announcement. "Vista shares a similar vision for the company, including a dedication to developing and delivering best-in-class cyber-security to our customers," Websense CEO John McCormack said in the announcement. "Vista brings an operational discipline that will enable us to continue to invest in the business and technology innovation." Websense is not the first security firm to be taken private by an investor. In 2010, network security firm SonicWall was taken private by investment firm Thoma Bravo for $717 million and, according to The Wall Street Journal, sold two years later for $1.2 billion to computer-technology company Dell.
In early 2012, Thoma Bravo bought up Blue Coat Systems in a $1.3 billion stock purchase. And earlier this month, two investment firms took information-technology management firm BMC Software private in a deal worth $6.9 billion.