Optiv IPO canceled as cyber security firm gets bought by KKR instead

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Cybersecurity solutions company Optiv Security Inc. has canceled plans to go public and has instead opted to sell a majority stake in the company to private equity firm KKR & Co.

Under the deal, current majority owner Blackstone Group LP will retain a minority shareholding with Optiv management. Those selling their stake in the company include Investcorp and Sverica. The price of the acquisition was not disclosed.

Founded in 2015 from the merger of cyber security companies FishNet Security and Accuvant, the company supplies cyber security solutions to businesses. Optiv is said to have served more than 7,500 clients in 76 countries, including 71 of the Fortune 100 and 604 of the Fortune 1000. It was named by Inc. magazine earlier this year as one of North America’s fastest-growing private companies.

On Nov. 25, the company filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $100 million in an initial public offering.

“Cyber security has been a growing focus and pain point for companies over the last decade, and is now one of the highest priorities for global enterprises. We have been following the cyber security sector very closely over the past several years and believe Optiv represents an attractive investment opportunity given its market leadership as a critical partner and advisor to the Global 1000,” Herald Chen, co-head of KKR’s technology, media and telecom investment team, said in a statement. “For KKR, this investment is premised on partnering with an awesome management team to build Optiv into a global security powerhouse by accelerating investment in Optiv’s product and service capabilities and expanding its presence across the U.S. and internationally.”

This isn’t KKR’s first investment into a cyber security company. It previously invested into machine learning security startup Darktrace Ltd. as lead investor in its $64 million Series C round in July and as a participant in anti-virus maker Cylance’s $100 million round in June.

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley served as financial advisors to Optiv while Jefferies LLC acted as financial advisors to KKR on the deal. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.

Image courtesy of Optiv