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Private equity firm Thoma Bravo to buy ConnectWise

ConnectWise has announced plans to sell to Thoma Bravo, a private equity company, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition, which is expected to close tomorrow (28 February), follows discussions with eight prospective buyers.

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

Bellini, who will step down from his role as CEO into an advisory position, described Thoma Bravo as the “premier investor in software-as-a-service technology”. “ConnectWise and Thoma Bravo have co-created a multi-year strategy that is aligned with our mission, vision, culture and partners,” he said. “With this new relationship we plan to accelerate our partners’ success worldwide.”

Bellini is to be replaced by the current chief operating officer and president, Jason Magee. “Jason has more than 20 years of deep industry experience with MSPs and VARs,” said Bellini. “Because Jason’s been in their shoes, he is committed to ConnectWise’s partners. He will continue driving the passion, culture and innovation that our partners and colleagues expect from us.”

Commenting on the news, Magee said ConnectWise would continue to invest in its partner community. “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 added.

Thoma Bravo has been linked to a number of high profile acquisitions in recent months. The firm completed its takeover of the Israeli security firm Imperva in January, and has also been in talks to buy McAfee. Its management team has approved ConnectWise’s five year plan, which includes a focus on cyber security, technology as a service and a one-click ecosystem.

Robert Sayle, a partner at Thoma Bravo, said the firm had “long recognised ConnectWise’s position as a leader and pioneer in the Managed Service Provider (MSP) and broader IT services space”.

“For nearly 40 years, the company has been the market leader in providing the most comprehensive integrated software solutions to its community of partners,” he added. “Under the strong leadership of Arnie and the management team, ConnectWise has innovated and created top tier products and services, and we are thrilled to partner with Jason to enable further success and opportunity for ConnectWise partners.”