Thoma Bravo acquires Novell for $2.2bn

The Chicago-based firm has acquired listed computing services company Novell as an add-on to its IT services company Attachmate Corporation.

Chicago-based Thoma Bravo has purchased listed computing services company Novell for roughly $2.2 billion, or $6.10 per share.

The transaction is an add-on to the firm’s IT services company Attachmate Corporation, which it acquired alongside Francisco Partners and Golden Gate Capital in 2005. Novell helps organisations manage computing services for identity and security, systems management, collaboration and Linux-based operating platforms.
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011. Financing is being provided by Credit Suisse, RBC Capital Markets, Goldman Sachs and Citadel Securities.

In March 2009, Thoma Bravo raised its first fund since former partners Carl Thoma and Bryan Cressey amicably split their previous private equity firm, Thoma Cressey Bravo, ahead of respective fundraises.

Thoma Bravo's Fund IX hit its $822 million hardcap, having been oversubscribed. The firm's original target for the software-focused fund had been $1 billion, but it was adjusted downward in the more challenging fundraising environment.

Thoma Bravo began investing from Fund IX in April 2008 with the $200 million acquisition of management software provider Acresso Software, which in 2009 closed a $27 million take-private acquisition of California-based Intraware. The fund made an equity investment in property tax provider Manatron to finance its acquisition of Software Techniques in January 2009.

Thoma Bravo typically invests in mid-market businesses with an enterprise value of between $100 million and $500 million, with a focus on software, business and financial services and education, and seeks to create value through acquisitions.

Originally named Thoma Cressey Bravo, the firm split its operations with the renamed Cressey & Co. focusing on healthcare, and partners Thoma, Orlando Bravo, Lee Mitchell and Scott Crabill investing in software and services.