PE firm Vector Capital angling for Riverbed takeover

Riverbed, which came out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late 2021 with a recapitalisation, is set to be acquired by Vector Capital

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PE firm Vector Capital angling for Riverbed takeover

WAN and unified observability technology developer Riverbed Tuesday said it will be acquired by private equity firm Vector Capital for an undisclosed amount. 

San Francisco-based Riverbed develops two primary product lines. Its Riverbed Alluvio line provides unified observability and digital transformation management, and its Riverbed Acceleration line provides SaaS and cloud acceleration and WAN hardware and software optimisation.

Vector Capital, also based in San Francisco, currently holds equity in multiple companies in markets adjacent to those of Riverbed. It holds stakes in security companies including Malwarebytes, Kela, and WatchGuard Technologies, and in networking companies such as Cambium Technologies.

The acquisition is expected to close after standard and customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals, which is expected to take a number of months.

Alex Thurber, senior vice president of global partners and alliances, told CRN via email that Riverbed is currently owned by a group of lenders and other investors, and that following the close, Vector Capital will own the company while existing lenders will continue to support it.

When asked why Riverbed was acquired, Thurber wrote that Vector Capital has an impressive track record of building and scaling global technology companies and driving value for stakeholders.

"With a significantly enhanced balance sheet and greater financial flexibility, Riverbed will have the ability to accelerate our innovative offerings that create value for partners and customers," Thurber said. "Vector Capital is aligned with our vision for the future, and we are confident they are the right partner to help us achieve our goals."

The acquisition is not expected to impact Riverbed's roadmap, and the company is expected to remain well-position to deliver new capabilities and features with its planned 2023 Acceleration roadmap, Thurber said. 

Riverbed does not disclose financials, but Thurber said that once the acquisition is closed, the company will have a "meaningfully strengthened balance sheet allowing for investments in growth."

Riverbed has had financial issues in the past, and in 2021 went into chapter 11 bankruptcy. However, Riverbed in late 2021 entered into a restructuring support agreement with its equity sponsors and a group of lenders that reduced its funded secured debt by over $1bn and provided a $100m cash infusion.

Apollo Global Management led the group of investors at the time of the restructuring support agreement to become majority owners of Riverbed.

Dan Smoot, president and CEO of Riverbed Technology, said in a prepared statement that the acquisition will help Riverbed build on its current strong momentum.

"Vector Capital has an impressive track record of building and scaling global technology companies and driving value for all stakeholders, and we look forward to partnering with Vector to position Riverbed for the future," Smoot said. "I would also like to thank our talented team for their continued focus and hard work, and our lenders for their ongoing support."

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