Security business Barracuda Networks acquired for $1.6 billion

Private equity giant Thoma Bravo has agreed today to buy Barracuda Networks in a take-private deal that’s valued at $1.6 billion. The company was offered $27.55 per share, about 16% above Friday’s close.

Though above Barracuda’s 52-week high, the price is down from the over $40 per share where the stock was trading in 2015. Barracuda went public in 2013.

Campbell, California-based Barracuda, which competes with Palo Alto Networks and Symantec, provides security for cloud-connected networks and applications. The company touts clients like Boeing, Microsoft and the U.S. Department of Defense. Barracuda says it has over 150,000 customers.

“We believe the proposed transaction offers an opportunity for us to accelerate our growth with our industry-leading security platform that’s purpose-built for highly distributed, diverse cloud and hybrid environments,” said BJ Jenkins, chief executive officer of Barracuda, in a statement. “We will continue Barracuda’s tradition of delivering easy-to-use, full-featured solutions that can be deployed in the way that makes sense for our customers.”

The deal is expected to close by the end of February.

Founded in 2003, Barracuda Networks raised at least $46 million in venture funding prior to its IPO. Sequoia Capital and Francisco Partners were amongst its largest shareholders at the time it went public.

Thoma Bravo is a Chicago and San Franciso-based private equity giant with $17 billion under management. Other portfolio companies include Compuware, McAfee and SailPoint, which recently went public.

Private equity firms began more aggressively buying up software companies last year, their apparent thinking being that they can generate reliable returns from such investments. The biggest take-private deals in the last 18 months include the sale of U.S. data analytics firm Qlik Technologies to Thoma Bravo for about $3 billion in June 2016; Marketo, a marketing software giant that went public in 2013 and was taken private again by Vista Equity Partners last year for $1.79 billion in cash; and the sale of event-management company Cvent last year to Vista Equity Partners in a $1.65 billion deal.

Morgan Stanley advised Barracuda on the deal. Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and UBS worked with Thoma Bravo.

Here’s a look at Barracuda’s stock chart, since it went public about four years ago.