Riverbed Set to Be Acquired for $3.6 Billion

After months of debate and speculation about the future of Riverbed Technologies, the networking vendor has chosen its path. Riverbed today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be taken private and acquired by Thoma Bravo and Teachers’ Private Capital.

The deal is valued at approximately $3.6 billion and will pay Riverbed shareholders $21.00 per share in cash. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2015, pending regulatory approvals. When the deal closes, existing Riverbed CEO Jerry Kennelly will remain with the company in the same capacity.

“Having undertaken a thorough strategic review, during which we assessed a wide variety of options to maximize value, the Board unanimously concluded that partnering with Thoma Bravo was the best choice for Riverbed,” Kennelly said in a statement.

Kennelly added that Thoma Bravo is a well regarded private equity firm with deep experience in the technology industry. Among Thoma Bravo’s technology investments over the years has been the acquisition of Network Instruments in 2012. A year later, Thoma Bravo sold Network Instruments for $200 million. In 2011, Thoma Bravo acquired networking vendor Blue Coat for $1.3 billion.

“This investment is the largest in Thoma Bravo’s history,” Seth Boro, a managing partner at Thoma Bravo, said in a statement. “It marks a continued emphasis on and confidence in companies that deliver mission-critical technologies for an expanding, global customer base.”

At the beginning of 2014, Riverbed rejected a $3 billion bid from private equity firm Elliot Management, which would have paid shareholders $19 per share.

Riverbed has been trying to re-invent itself for much of 2014 and in April announced a major platform re-branding. In October, Riverbed announced a restructuring plan to help it to achieve better operating efficiencies and results for its shareholders.

As part of that restructuring effort, Riverbed sold off its Granite storage acceleration business to NetApp for $80 million in a deal announced at the end of October.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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