Perforce adds infrastructure automation tooling with Puppet acquisition

Perforce Software has been building developer tools since 1995, a long time in the tech world. The company was acquired by Clearlake Capital in 2018, and over the last several years has been modernizing and expanding its reach through acquisition. Today, the company announced it intends to acquire Puppet, the infrastructure automation company.

The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal.

Tim Russell, CPO at Perforce says that the acquisition adds an element to the company’s toolkit that it had been missing. “So Perforce is an industry leader in DevOps, but focused more on the planning through verification phases of DevOps, so planning creation and testing. And so we see this acquisition actually fitting really well as it now gives us entry into operations,” he said.

He added that the company has a long history of serving a similar set of customers to Puppet and that was one of the reasons they went after it. Puppet CEO Yvonne Wassenaar says that she was originally looking for funding to fuel some inorganic growth through acquisitions when Perforce came knocking.

“Fundamentally, the market is moving so fast and despite the fact that I’m very proud of the organic development side with [our products], I didn’t feel that we were moving fast enough organically to really keep up with what our customers needed,” she said.

“I set out actually to go raise money to help facilitate Puppet doing inorganic acquisition on our own. And what happened is in that process, I met the team at Perforce…and the more we got talking, the clearer it became that I could achieve all those things that I wanted in terms of having access to capital to actually grow the Puppet portfolio itself [by joining forces with them].”

She said she didn’t have to sell, but she felt she could do so much more as part of a well-capitalized company like Perforce, which has two private equity firms in Clearlake Capital and Francisco Partners backing it.

The hope is that the company’s success with open source and commercial customers will continue under the Perforce umbrella, while being able to expand that base with some strategic acquisitions of its own. Perforce will continue to let Puppet do what it’s been doing all these years, while finding ways to integrate it into Perforce’s broader platform where it makes sense.

Puppet has raised almost $190 million since its founding in 2009. The last raise was a $40 million debt round from Black Rock in 2020.

The deal is subject to standard regulatory approval, but is expected to close in May.