Thoma Bravo LLC has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Lehi, Utah-based DigiCert, a provider of trusted certificate management solutions. The seller is TA Associates, which will retain a minority stake in DigiCert as part of the transaction. No financial terms were disclosed. Jefferies LLC provided financial advice to Thoma Bravo while Evercore did likewise for DigiCert. Jefferies Finance LLC and Fifth Street Asset Management provided the financing for the deal.
SAN FRANCISCO — Thoma Bravo, LLC, a leading private equity investment firm, announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority interest in Utah-based DigiCert, a global SSL Certificate Authority (CA) and the leading provider of trusted certificate management solutions. As part of the transaction, TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm and current majority shareholder in DigiCert, will sell a portion of its interest and will remain as a minority shareholder. While financial details were not disclosed, the Thoma Bravo investment represents one of the largest technology investments ever made in a Utah-based business.
“DigiCert represents an outstanding investment opportunity to back a market leader with a tremendous management team in a sector we know well,” said Seth Boro, managing partner at Thoma Bravo. “SSL and certificate management technology play a critical part in securing the digital economy, and DigiCert has been a market leader in the space, known for its consistent innovation and first-rate customer service.”
Based in Lehi, Utah, DigiCert provides digital certificates to over 115,000 customers in more than 180 countries, and is one of the few CAs dedicated solely to advancing PKI-based solutions for enterprises and networked devices. DigiCert is a leading provider of SSL and other digital certificates as well as certificate lifecycle management products for e-commerce, healthcare, the Internet of Things and other emerging markets. DigiCert facilitates certificate deployment and management for enterprise projects ranging from thousands to tens of millions of publicly trusted certificates.
“We’re excited to be partnering with Thoma Bravo and continuing our relationship with TA Associates,” said Nicholas Hales, chief executive officer at DigiCert. “We look forward to adding Thoma Bravo’s strategic insight and influence as we embark on our next phase of growth. They have a proven track record in the security space and we look forward to what will surely be a rewarding partnership.”
“We are very pleased with DigiCert’s tremendous growth since our investment in 2012,” said Jason Werlin, a managing director at TA Associates. “We welcome Thoma Bravo and look forward to close collaboration with the firm and DigiCert on the company’s next chapter.”
“Our customers remain our first priority, and together, we will continue to invest, innovate and further our market leadership position,” said John Merrill, chief operating officer at DigiCert.
DigiCert is the only Certificate Authority to have earned a five-star rating on independent review authority SSLShopper.com and boasts OCSP/CRL latency times that are over three times faster than its competitors. These are just some of the reasons why DigiCert outpaces its competitors in high-assurance certificate growth and also counts six of the global Alexa Top 10 web properties as its customers.
“DigiCert is well-positioned to take advantage of emerging opportunities in areas such as securing connected devices in the Internet of Things world,” said Robert Sayle, partner at Thoma Bravo. “We’re dedicated to backing existing management and helping them grow organically and through strategic investments and acquisitions in the years to come.”
Kirkland & Ellis (for Thoma Bravo) and Goodwin Procter (for DigiCert) served as legal advisors on the transaction. Jefferies LLC (for Thoma Bravo) and Evercore (for DigiCert) served as financial advisors. Financing was provided by Jefferies Finance LLC and Fifth Street Asset Management.
About Thoma Bravo, LLC
Thoma Bravo is a leading private equity investment firm building on a 30+ year history of providing equity and strategic support to experienced management teams and growing companies. The firm seeks to create value by collaborating with company management to improve business operations and provide capital to support growth initiatives. Thoma Bravo invests with a particular focus on application and infrastructure software and technology enabled services. The firm currently manages a series of private equity funds representing more than $8.5 billion of equity commitments. More information about Thoma Bravo can be found at www.thomabravo.com.
DigiCert is a premier, trusted provider of enterprise security solutions with an emphasis on authentication and encryption via managed PKI and high-assurance digital certificates for enterprise and the Internet of Things. Headquartered in Lehi, Utah, DigiCert is trusted by more than 115,000 of the world’s leading government, finance, healthcare, education, and Fortune 500® organizations. DigiCert has been recognized with dozens of awards for providing enhanced customer value, premium customer service and market growth leadership. For the latest DigiCert news and updates, visit digicert.com, like DigiCert on Facebook® or follow @digicert on Twitter®.
About TA Associates
TA Associates is one of the largest and most experienced global growth private equity firms. The firm has invested in more than 450 companies around the world and has raised over $18 billion in capital. With offices in Boston, Menlo Park, London, Mumbai and Hong Kong, TA Associates leads buyouts and minority recapitalizations of profitable growth companies in the technology, financial services, business services, healthcare and consumer industries. More information about TA Associates can be found at www.ta.com.