Vista Equity Partners plans to acquire KnowBe4 for $4.6 billion in cash, taking the publicly traded security vendor private.
KnowBe4 — the popular security awareness training and simulated phishing platform provider, with some 52,000 customer organizations worldwide — is the latest security vendor to be acquired by a private equity firm. PE firm Thoma Bravo has announced a series of identity management vendor acquisitions in recent months: Sailpoint, Ping Identity, and most recently, ForgeRock, a deal that was announced on Tuesday.
Under the Vista deal, KnowBe4's stockholders will get $24.90 per share in cash when the transaction is completed in early 2023, a 44% premium over KnowBe4's closing price on Sept. 16, prior to the acquisition disclosure.
"As a significant investor in KnowBe4, we could not be more excited to take this next step in our journey together," Rod Aliabadi, managing director at Vista, said in a statement. "We have long appreciated the work that KnowBe4 does in strengthening the human layer of cybersecurity through educating employees on how to identify social engineering and related cyber threats."
Vista has been on a tear in cybersecurity investments, with a $1 billion investment in Securonix, a $215 million investment in Critical Start, and sales of SecureLink to Imprivata and Ping Identity. The PE firm also took Citrix private earlier this year.
KnowBe4 was founded by Stu Sjouwerman, chairman and CEO of KnowBe4, and the company's chief hacking officer, Kevin Mitnick, assisted in the design of the company's training.