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Madison Dearborn to acquire BlueCat Networks

Canadian enterprise DNS solutions provider BlueCat Networks has agreed to be acquired by U.S. private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which will see BlueCat’s existing management team remain in place and retain an equity ownership position. The deal will also provide an exit for the company’s existing backers, Trident Capital and Northleaf Capital Partners. Toronto-based BlueCat was founded in 2001 by Michael Hyatt and Richard Hyatt, and is led by CEO Michael Harris. It said the partnership with Madison Dearborn will help accelerate growth through product development and marketing. The acquisition is expected to close in Q2 2017.


TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BlueCat Networks (“BlueCat” or “the company”), a leading provider of Enterprise DNS, announced today it has agreed to be acquired by Madison Dearborn Partners (“MDP”), a leading private equity firm based in Chicago. Upon completion of the transaction, BlueCat’s management team will remain in place and retain a significant equity ownership position in the company.

MDP, with its extensive expertise supporting high-growth technology companies, will provide BlueCat with the resources and guidance to accelerate the company’s rapid growth. The investment from MDP will focus on the development and marketing of BlueCat’s innovative and highly automated software-based DNS solutions, including its market-leading solution developed for the largest enterprises in the world that are looking to manage the complexity and security of transitioning to the cloud. MDP’s investment will also support the company as it launches DNS Security, a cloud-based solution that leverages the power of DNS data through advanced behavioral models and DNS query analytics to provide customers with internal and external threat detection and prevention.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for BlueCat,” said Michael Harris, CEO of BlueCat, “We have prioritized the needs of enterprise customers by taking a uniquely software-centric approach to our delivery model, and that strategy has propelled BlueCat to the forefront of the industry. MDP recognizes BlueCat’s valuable position within our customers’ infrastructure and our tremendous growth prospects. With the added resources and expertise of MDP, BlueCat will be strongly positioned to accelerate our growth.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with MDP as we embark on our next growth chapter,” said Michael Hyatt, BlueCat’s Co-founder, who is also retaining an equity ownership interest in the company. “BlueCat has established itself as an integral partner to many of the world’s leading companies and, alongside MDP, will remain focused on delivering solutions to manage increasingly complex network infrastructure needs. In addition, we would like to thank our investors Trident Capital and Northleaf Capital Partners for believing in our vision and for their unwavering support and assistance in growing the company. They have been excellent partners.”

“BlueCat is a leader in a high-growth, in-demand sector of the global enterprise IT industry, and we look forward to partnering with Michael Harris and his talented management team to build upon the company’s momentum,” said Doug Grissom, a Managing Director at MDP and head of the firm’s Business and Government Services team. “Enterprises around the world are experiencing a growing need to adopt enterprise DNS solutions to manage the rapid increase in scale and complexity of their IT networks. We look forward to utilizing our expertise in high-growth technology companies to help BlueCat realize its growth prospects, while continuing to deliver critical solutions to customers.”

Houlihan Lokey’s TMT Group was the sole financial advisor to BlueCat, and Evercore was the sole financial advisor to MDP. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The completion of the transaction, which is expected to close early in the second quarter of 2017, is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

About BlueCat
BlueCat delivers Enterprise DNS solutions that enable its customers to build and manage the complex network infrastructure required to meet the rapid pace of change of their business. BlueCat believes that Enterprise DNS will replace all disparate server-based DNS, resulting in improved network performance, enhanced network visibility and reduced network downtime. BlueCat’s Enterprise DNS will generate valuable data and provide significant visibility across all device activity and allow enterprises to take action as needed. For more information visit

About Madison Dearborn Partners
Madison Dearborn Partners (MDP), based in Chicago, is a leading private equity investment firm in the United States. Since MDP’s formation in 1992, the firm has raised seven funds with aggregate capital of approximately $23 billion and has completed approximately 130 investments. MDP invests in businesses across a broad spectrum of industries, including basic industries; business and government services; consumer; financial and transaction services; health care; and telecom, media and technology services. Notable investments include @stake, Aderant, Clearnet Communications, Fieldglass, Fleet Complete, Intermedia, LGS Innovations, Liquid Web, Message Labs and QuickPlay Media. For more information, please visit