Thoma Bravo Wraps Multibillion-Dollar Riverbed Buy

**Editor’s Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in Q1 2015.**

Thoma Bravo, the private-equity firm based in Chicago, on Friday completed its $3.5 billion acquisition of Riverbed Technology, the provider of application performance infrastructure.

Under the terms of the sale, first announced in December, Riverbed CEO Jerry Kennelly remains with the company in his same role.

“With this acquisition now complete, our team can begin to move forward with the strategic initiatives that will take us to the next stage of growth,” said Kennelly. “As a private company, Riverbed is better positioned to pursue our long term goals, and has greater flexibility to develop … technologies that deliver superior application performance for our customers. This flexibility, alongside Thoma Bravo’s deep experience growing companies in the application performance space, makes us very excited about the future.”

It’s been a busy few months of wheeling and dealing for Riverbed. The company sold its SteelStore product line to NetApp last fall for $80 million. SteelStore supports backup applications and cloud providers, giving customers choice in how they extend their existing data-protection infrastructure into the cloud. It also this winter announced the sale of its SteelApp product line to Brocade. SteelApp is an Application Delivery Controller (ADC) designed to control application traffic, delivering apps to users from the cloud or a data center.

A recent forecast from IDC puts the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of application-management software at 12 percent through 2018, reaching $4.3 billion – so this is the potential to be a pretty hot market.

Riverbed’s 10-year-old partner program is open to resellers, distributors, service providers and systems integrators. It also offers a referral program.

The company claims to have more than 26,000 customers.

Follow senior online managing editor Craig Galbraith on Twitter.

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