WatchGuard Technologies, a global leader in network security and intelligence, advanced endpoint protection, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and secure Wi-Fi, has entered into a definitive agreement with Vector Capital to make a large new equity investment in the business, acquire interests previously owned by Francisco Partners and other co-investors, and become the company’s majority shareholder. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Founded in 1996, WatchGuard has made enterprise-grade security accessible to all types of organizations for more than 25 years. The company’s focus on delivering best-of-breed security offerings and enabling managed service providers (MSPs) to deploy and administer these solutions has fueled the mainstream adoption of advanced cybersecurity.
During Vector Capital’s and Francisco Partners’ joint ownership for more than a decade, WatchGuard transformed from a trusted network security vendor to a full-fledged cybersecurity platform provider. The company’s trademarked Unified Security Platform enables more than 17,000 MSPs to protect the environments, users and networks of more than 250,000 businesses worldwide.
Building on its prior ownership, Vector Capital is well-positioned to partner with WatchGuard’s management team to 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 further innovation in security automation and simplification for MSPs.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of September, subject to customary conditions.
Barclays is serving as the financial advisor to WatchGuard Technologies. Sidley Austin LLP and Richards, Layton & Finger are serving as legal counsel to WatchGuard Technologies. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal counsel to Vector Capital.