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SolarWinds Agrees to $4.5 Billion Buyout by Investment Firms

SolarWinds, a provider of IT systems management solutions, is set to be acquired by private equity investors Silver Lake Partners and Thoma Bravo, the company announced this week.

The deal is worth a healthy $4.5 billion, representing a 44 premium premium over the company's share price as of Oct. 8, before the company disclosed it had been approached by an unsolicited bidder. At the time, SolarWinds acknowledged it had retained J.P. Morgan as its financial advisor and DLA Piper LLP to provide legal counsel.

"Becoming a private company will provide SolarWinds with optimal operating flexibility to execute on its long-term strategy of providing superior products for IT and DevOps pros all over the world," said SolarWinds President and CEO Kevin Thompson in a statement. "We are extremely excited about partnering with Silver Lake and Thoma Bravo in the next chapter of the SolarWinds story."

Indeed, at this week's Dell World conference in Austin, Texas (where SolarWinds is based, incidentally) Dell Founder and CEO Michael Dell talked up the benefits of being a private company.

"No 90-day shot clock," Dell said in his keynote address, referring to pressure on public companies to meet quarterly growth expectations.

Dell also added that his company is now able to focus on customer-oriented initiatives and focus R&D accordingly.

SolarWinds is a popular provider of systems management tools for Windows and VMware environments. It has also extended into hybrid cloud management and entered the managed services provider (MSP) business with the 2013 acquisition of N-able.

The deal, pending shareholder and regulatory approval, is slated to close next quarter.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.