Thoma Bravo Sells Flexera to Canadian Teachers
July 26, 2011 Alex Woodie
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has acquired control of Flexera Software, developers of the InstallAnywhere installation utility that’s used by IBM i ISVs, from its private equity owners, Thoma Bravo.
More than 70,000 ISVs use Flexera’s installation tools, including the multi-platform InstallAnywhere and InstallShield, which supports Windows. InstallShield is the more recognized asset, as millions of people around the world use it everyday to install and uninstall software from their Windows PCs. But the installation protection that InstallAnywhere provides on IBM i, z/OS, and Unix servers gives Flexera clout in the enterprise.
Last week, Thoma Bravo announced that it’s planning to sell a majority stake in the Chicago software company to Teachers’ Private Capital, the private investment department of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The OTPP is the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada, with $107 billion (Canadian) in assets and 295,000 active and retired members.
Thoma Bravo partner Seth Boro says the private equity firm has had a successful relationship with Flexera since it was acquired three years ago. “We believe the company is poised to realize the next stage in its growth and market leadership, and we are excited to be an ongoing partner in making that happen.” Flexera says revenues increased by 40 percent over the last three years, and expects revenues to triple in the next few years.
Flexera is positioning its products and business model to address the IT industry’s shift to cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS). Data centers, in particular, need powerful tools to ensure that application installations and modifications go smoothly and do not affect other clients’ virtual environments running on the same physical infrastructure. Agile software development, with its rapid-fire release of software updates every few weeks or months, is also an area that Flexera is addressing, as it did with its recent release of InstallAnywhere 2011.
Flexera Software was known as Acresso until 2009, when it changed its name. Acresso was formed in 2008 following the acquisition of the business software unit of Macrovision by Thoma Cressey Bravo, which is now Thoma Bravo. Macrovision had acquired the original InstallShield company back in 2004. In 2005, Macrovision acquired InstallShield’s former competitor, Zero G Software, which made InstallAnywhere.
Thoma Bravo plans to maintain a minority stake in the company. The existing executive team will continue to lead the company. The deal is expected to close in September. Terms were not revealed.