Vector Capital acquires majority stake in WatchGuard

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SEATTLE, April 27, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WatchGuard® Technologies, a global leader in network security and intelligence, advanced endpoint protection, multi-factor authentication (MFA) and secure Wi-Fi, today announced it has completed a definitive Agreement with Vector Capital to make a major new equity investment in the company, acquire interests previously owned by Francisco Partners and other co-investors, and become the majority shareholder of the company. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 1996, WatchGuard has been making enterprise-level security accessible to all types of organizations for more than 25 years. The company’s unique focus on delivering best-in-class security offerings and enabling Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to easily deploy and manage these solutions has driven the widespread adoption of advanced cybersecurity.

During more than ten years of joint ownership by Vector Capital and Francisco Partners, WatchGuard has transformed from a trusted network security provider to a full-fledged cybersecurity platform provider. Today, the company’s Unified Security Platform™ enables more than 17,000 MSPs to protect the environments, users and networks of more than 250,000 companies worldwide.

Building on its previous ownership, Vector Capital is well positioned to work with WatchGuard’s management team to further accelerate the company’s growth. WatchGuard will continue to invest in critical areas including but not limited to cloud transformation, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), Extended Detection and Response (XDR), Managed Detection and Response (MDR) and other innovations in security automation and simplification for MSPs.

“Vector strongly believes in WatchGuard’s portfolio, partners, people and vision. This transaction is a testament to WatchGuard’s current success and the opportunities ahead,” said Prakash Panjwani, CEO of WatchGuard Technologies. “We believe Vector is well-positioned to continue accelerating WatchGuard’s growth strategy while maintaining our corporate culture and commitment to delivering security through the MSP community.”

“We are excited to continue the journey we began with WatchGuard’s employees, partners and customers over a decade ago,” said Alex Slusky, founder, managing director and chief investment officer of Vector Capital. “We are proud of the foundation of success we have built with WatchGuard’s management team and look forward to driving the next phase of growth and transformation for the company.”

“MSPs represent the future of security delivery, but to be successful they need a customized platform that fits their needs,” continued Sandy Gill, Managing Director of Vector Capital. “WatchGuard is uniquely positioned to lead the market by empowering these MSPs with its Unified Security Platform. We are excited to continue investing, both organically and through acquisitions, in the company’s mission to provide security-centric MSPs with a vendor, platform and vision on which to build their business.”

“WatchGuard, under our joint ownership, has established itself as a leading cybersecurity company with a relevant product portfolio, a strong partner ecosystem and a talented team of people,” said Ben Ball, Partner at Francisco Partners. “We’re proud of our role in supporting WatchGuard’s transformation and look forward to following the company’s continued success as it continues to pave the way for simplified security when the industry needs it most.”

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2022, subject to customary conditions.

Barclays is acting as financial advisor to WatchGuard Technologies. Sidley Austin LLP and Richards, Layton & Finger are serving as legal counsel to WatchGuard Technologies. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal counsel to Vector Capital.

About WatchGuard Technologies

WatchGuard® Technologies, Inc. is a global leader in network security and intelligence, advanced endpoint protection, multi-factor authentication, and secure Wi-Fi. The company’s award-winning products and services are trusted by more than 17,000 security resellers and service providers worldwide to protect more than 250,000 customers. WatchGuard’s mission is to make enterprise-level security accessible to organizations of all shapes and sizes through simplicity, making WatchGuard an ideal solution for midsize and distributed businesses. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and has offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. To learn more, visit WatchGuard.com.

For more information, promotions and updates, follow WatchGuard on Twitter (@WatchGuard), on Facebook or on the LinkedIn company page. Also visit our InfoSec blog, Secplicity, for real-time information on the latest threats and how to deal with them, at www.secplicity.org. Subscribe to The 443 – Security Simplified podcast at Secplicity.org or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

About Vector Capital

Vector Capital is a leading global private equity and credit investment firm based in San Francisco focused on transformative investments in technology and technology-enabled companies. Founded in 1997, Vector manages approximately $4 billion in capital through its private equity and credit strategies from a variety of investors, including university endowments, endowments and financial institutions. With our disciplined valuation approach and deep-rooted operational experience, Vector has delivered competitive returns and built a nearly 25-year track record. For more information, visit www.vectorcapital.com.

About Francisco Partners

Francisco Partners is a leading global investment firm specializing in partnerships with technology and technology companies. Since its founding over 20 years ago, Francisco Partners has invested in over 400 technology companies, making it one of the most active and long-standing investors in the technology industry. With more than $38 billion in assets under management, the firm invests in opportunities where its deep industry knowledge and operational expertise can help companies realize their full potential. For more information about Francisco Partners, visit www.franciscopartners.com.


        
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