Funds advised by global private equity advisors Apax Partners are to acquire cybersecurity assessment and consulting services provider Coalfire.
The long-established cybersecurity firm, which has 730 employees operating from 11 locations in the United States and the United Kingdom, is being purchased from The Carlyle Group and The Chertoff Group for an undisclosed sum.
According to a statement released on Friday, the deal is expected to close in early 2020, subject to regulatory approval.
Coalfire was founded in 2001 with the mission to help organizations avert threats, close gaps, and effectively manage cyber-risk. Today, the company has more than 1,800 government and commercial clients and extensive cloud security experience, working with seven of the top ten SaaS providers.
In the US, Coalfire is one of several third-party assessment organizations chosen by the government to evaluate and certify cloud computing products and services for use by federal agencies as part of the government-wide Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP).
Rohan Haldea, partner at Apax Partners, said: "Coalfire is an established and highly respected cybersecurity advisory and assessment services firm that is well-positioned for further growth due to cybersecurity trends and the vision of its strong management team. The Apax Funds’ investment will assist the company in particular by increasing Coalfire’s investment in technology; continuing to invest in thought leadership, especially with respect to securing cloud environments; and deepening capabilities across assurance standards while scaling its penetration testing and cyber-risk services business."
William Blair and Latham & Watkins respectively served as financial and legal advisers to Coalfire in the transaction. Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as Apax Funds’ legal counsel.
Carlyle made an investment in Coalfire in 2015 through its $1.1bn US Equity Opportunity Fund I. At the end of 2016, Coalfire acquired Viennese cybersecurity leader Veris Group.
Tom McAndrew, Coalfire CEO, said: "We are thrilled with our new partnership with Apax, which will help drive our growth plans while continuing our commitment to our customers, people, and core values. The leadership, support, and investment provided by Carlyle, Chertoff, and Baird Capital have been instrumental in our success over the last four years, and we are excited to begin this new chapter."