Carlyle’s Net Motion soon to hit the auction block

Evercore has been engaged to provide financial advice on an upcoming sale process, which is expected to kick off in the next few weeks, sources told PE Hub.

The Carlyle Group is preparing to sell Net Motion Software, a network security software provider, sources familiar with the process told PE Hub.

Carlyle has selected Evercore to advise on the sale process, which is expected to kick off in the next few weeks, the people familiar said.

Net Motion is a software vendor that provides a security platform for its users, along with application performance management, network optimization, adaptive policy control and secure remote access for mobile workforces. The company is headquartered in Seattle, with additional offices in Europe and Japan.

Net Motion says on its website that its security platform supports the ‘new normal’, with solutions that secure remote workers in a way that improves the employee experience.

The company generates around $60 million in revenue, $50 million of which is annual recurring revenue, the sources said. They added that it produces around $15 million in EBITDA.

Net Motion is expected to attract interest from both private equity and strategic buyers including infrastructure and cybersecurity companies, the sources said.

They added that the remote working environment had boosted the demand for cloud-native solutions offering network security, thus benefiting Net Motion.

In December, Net Motion launched its new secure access service edge platform as a cloud-hosted offering. The popularity of the newly available tool is set to promote the company’s sale process, some of the sources said.

Carlyle first invested in the company in August 2016 when the firm acquired it from Clearlake Capital.

The investment was made through Carlyle Europe Technology Partners III, a €657 million fund focused on European technology, media and telecommunications companies, and Carlyle US Equity Opportunity Fund II, a $2.4 billion vehicle that targets US mid-market buyout investments.

Despite selling Net Motion to Carlyle, Clearlake did not stop investing behind the tailwinds of network security. In fact, it has been building out a competitor to Net Motion.

In September, Ivanti, an IT software company backed by Clearlake and TA Associates, agreed to acquire all the outstanding shares in MobileIron and Pulse Secure. MobileIron is a provider of mobile-centric unified endpoint management solutions, while Pulse Secure offers secure access and mobile security solutions.

MobileIron, formerly a public company, was considered a competitor of Net Motion, one of the sources noted.

With the acquisition of MobileIron and Pulse Secure, Ivanti inherited adaptive security capabilities and contextualized, personalized experiences for remote workers, according to the announcement shared at the time of the purchase.

Similarly, Net Motion would present a new platform opportunity for another PE firm, should the upcoming sale process produce a sponsor sale, one of the sources said. In that case, Net Motion’s new owner would be building out a platform to compete with the one backed by Clearlake and TA.

Carlyle declined to comment. Spokespeople for Net Motion and Evercore did not comment.