Network Instruments Bought by Thoma Bravo

No IPO here as network analysis firm is acquired by the same private equity firm that just bought Blue Coat and SonicWALL.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Apr 11, 2012
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While some networking vendors aspire to go public in an IPO, others have decided that staying private is a better way to go. One such networking vendor is Network Instruments (NI), which is being acquired by private equity firm Thoma Bravo. Full financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed. The deal is set to close this month.

Thoma Bravo will be acquiring a controlling interest in NI from company founders, CEO Roman Olynick and President Douglas Smith and will be retaining the existing management team.

NI is an application and network management vendor whose platforms include the Gigastor network analysis system and the Observer performance management platform.

"Thoma Bravo is perfectly designed to take Network Instruments to the next level," Veena Vadgama, vice president of Marketing Communications at Network Instruments, told EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet. "They have a strong and positive track record in the industry."

Vadgama added that Thoma Bravo has consistently put companies and their teams in a position to achieve substantial future growth. It's a track record that NI hopes to benefit from by leveraging planning and strategic consulting from Thoma Bravo.

"Network Instruments will continue to grow and increase market share at a faster rate than the company could have achieved on its own," Vadgama said. "Our company will continue to run as an independent entity with little customer-facing change other than increased investment in all aspects of the company."

Thoma Bravo is no stranger to owning networking firms. In December of 2011, Thoma Bravo announced its intention to acquire WAN optimization vendor Blue Coat for $1.3 billion. That deal officially closed in February of this year. The company also bought firewall vendor SonicWALL in 2010 for $717 million. Thoma is now selling Sonic to Dell.

For Blue Coat, the decision to go private instead of staying public was all about focus. Instead of focusing on short term goals to achieve quarterly financial objectives, by being private, Blue Coat is able to take a longer term view and approach.

"In terms of our market, focus and channel development being private gives us more focus and allows us to be long term oriented," Blue Coat spokesperson, Steve Schick told EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet. "So without the short term pressures, we can work on roadmaps that we see affecting things a few years from now."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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