Ontario teachers among new Blue Coat owners

The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan is part of a group that will pay US$1.3 billion for WAN optimization and Web security solutions maker Blue Coat Systems Inc. and take it private
An offer from an investor group led by Thoma Bravo LLC of San Francisco that includes the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan,  through its private investor department, Teachers’ Private Capital, has been approved, the board of publicly-traded Blue Coat said Friday.

“Over the last six months, our board of directors engaged in a comprehensive review of all strategic options available to Blue Coat,” said chairman David Hanna, in a statement.  “After an extensive evaluation of strategic alternatives with our independent advisors, the board has determined that the definitive agreement with Thoma Bravo provides an attractive all-cash valuation to our shareholders.  We look forward to completing the transaction under the terms of the agreement as expeditiously as possible.”

“Blue Coat is an award-winning, global leader in next generation Web security and WAN optimization, and we welcome the opportunity to work with its existing management team,” Orlando Bravo, managing partner at Thoma Bravo, said in the statement.  “As a private company, Blue Coat will be better positioned to innovate at an accelerated rate and achieve a higher level of growth.”

“Blue Coat marks the continuation of Thoma Bravo’s investment efforts in the security technology industry, and is the firm’s fifth security technology platform investment,” Seth Boro, partner at Thoma Bravo, said in the statement. “We are excited to partner with Blue Coat on strengthening its industry leadership position through product innovation, enhancing its world-class customer support and identifying organic and strategic growth opportunities.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Blue Coat shareholders will receive US$25.81 in cash for each share of Blue Coat common stock, a premium of approximately 48 per cent over Blue Coat’s closing price on Dec. 8, 2011.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including requisite regulatory approvals and approval of Blue Coat shareholders. Blue Coat expects the transaction to close in the first calendar quarter of 2012.
Thoma Bravo’s technology investments include firewall maker SonicWall, Tripwire Inc. and LANDesk Software Inc.,

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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