almost 2 years ago • 3 mins
Private equity (PE) company Thoma Bravo announced on Monday that it’s agreed to buy SailPoint, after realizing it was crazy to have ever parted ways with the cybersecurity firm.
What does this mean?
Thoma Bravo first bought into SailPoint – which provides secure remote working software and cloud computing protection – back in 2014, before sprucing it up, listing it on the US stock market three years later, and pocketing a profit. But with remote working now part of the furniture and the war in Ukraine driving a spate of cyberattacks, Thoma Bravo has decided it wants SailPoint back for good: the PE giant announced on Monday that it had agreed to buy the company in a deal worth $6.9 billion – over 30% more than SailPoint was worth before the deal was announced.
Why should I care?
The bigger picture: PE firms go hard on software.
This marks Thoma Bravo’s sixth security-focused investment, and follows its $12.3 billion purchase of cybersecurity firm Proofpoint last year. But this deal also reflects the wider trend of PE firms buying into software companies: Brookfield, for instance, agreed to buy car dealership software provider CDK Global for $6.4 billion last week, while Elliott Management and Vista Equity Partners bought software giant Citrix for $17 billion earlier this year. They’re going cheap, after all: an index tracking some of the biggest business software companies has fallen more than twice as much as the wider US stock market this year.
Zooming out: SoftBank finds a diamond in the rough.
SoftBank’s been busy too: its Vision fund led a $185 million investment round in Pax8 on Monday – a move that values the cloud startup at $1.7 billion. SoftBank said it’s confident that the company – which helps small businesses manage cloud services – has the potential for long-term growth in a seriously competitive industry.
Keep reading for our next story...
Data out on Monday showed that the UK economy grew less than expected in February, as the country struggles to shake the side effects of the pandemic.
What does this mean?
The UK might’ve done away with Covid rules, but it’s not got the all-clear yet: the country’s carmakers couldn’t get hold of the parts they needed last month, leading the manufacturing sector to shrink 0.4%. And while the absence of restrictions encouraged travel bookings, any gains were largely offset by a fall in healthcare spending as vaccinations and testing tailed off. That meant the services sector – which makes up 80% of economic output – grew just 0.2% in February from the month before, while the overall economy grew just 0.1%. That’s well down on even January’s 0.8%, and means the UK economy is now only 1.5% bigger than it was before the pandemic.
Why should I care?
Zooming in: Will the BoE rein it in?
This data doesn’t even take into account the Ukraine war, which has only pushed the cost of living even higher. So while the Bank of England previously suggested it’d raise interest rates a few more times this year, some economists are now only expecting them to do it once more next month – or else risk halting economic growth entirely. Others think it’s too late, and reckon the UK economy is bound to shrink this quarter.
Zooming out: Sophie’s choice.
China’s economy is slowing down too, partly because the country is still insisting on lockdowns. And that zero-Covid policy is finally feeding through to prices, with data out on Monday showing that consumer prices rose at their fastest in three months. That might sound like a familiar story, but remember that China hasn’t been struggling with inflation like other major economies. That’s given its central bank room to cut interest rates and motivate growth. But if price rises start to get out of hand, that might not be the case much longer…
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