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ConnectWise looking at sale to private equity player

The MSP tools specialist has announced its intention to accept an acquisition offer from Thoma Bravo

Managed service player ConnectWise has announced it is being acquired by private equity firm Thoma Bravo in a move that should fuel future growth.

The deal will see ConnectWise founder and CEO Arnie Bellini move into an advisory role and current president and COO Jason Magee step into his shoes running the company, once the deal has been closed.

Bellini revealed that the firm had been reviewing its options for a number of years and had chosen to sell because a new owner would give it the chance to grow organically and via acquisition. The terms of the deal struck with Thoma Bravo were not disclosed but is expected to close at the end of the month.

“Five years ago, we began exploring all of the financial options to accelerate the ConnectWise mission and our partners’ success. Thoma Bravo was the clear and obvious choice over an Initial Public Offering (IPO) and seven other private equity firms,” he said.

“Thoma Bravo is the premier investor in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technology. ConnectWise and Thoma Bravo have co-created a multi-year strategy that is aligned with our mission, vision, culture and partners. With this new relationship we plan to accelerate our partners’ success worldwide," he added.

Magee, who has been with the firm for eight years, said that the firm remained committed to its partners and it would continue to invest and there would be more cyber security tools and advanced education coming.

"We will continue to invest in our partner community and provide the solutions they need to deliver technology as a service to the world. I believe the Thoma Bravo partnership will accelerate our ability to continually develop the platform our partners need to succeed through acquisitions and innovation,” he said.

Robert Sayle, partner at ThomaBravo, said that it viewed ConnectWise as a leader in the managed services space and it would be looking to build on that record.

Rivals will be viewing the change of ownership as a moment they can disrupt some of the existing channel relationships and John Pagliuca, executive vice president, MSP, SolarWinds, put forward its case as being "the company best positioned to help the MSP as they look to scale and grow".

“Today’s announcement is another strong signal that the MSP market is continuing to thrive. Managed service providers are a must-have for smaller businesses who find themselves practically over-run by the pace of technological change. In addition, the democratization of technology has created opportunities for both the good and bad guys, and security is an area where the SMB simply cannot do it alone. The MSP has become more than an outsourced provider; they’ve become a business partner," he said.

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