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Clearlake Capital to acquire Quest from Francisco Partners

Quest Software (Quest), a global cybersecurity, data intelligence, and IT operations management software provider, announced it signed a definitive agreement with Clearlake Capital Group is to acquire Quest Software (Quest), a global cybersecurity, data intelligence, and IT operations management software provider, from Francisco Partners. 

Patrick Nichols, current CEO of Quest, will continue to lead the Company supported by the existing executive management team. Upon closing of the transaction, Clearlake will become the majority shareholder in Quest. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
 
“We have long admired Quest as a leading identity-centric cybersecurity, data intelligence, and IT operations management software platform and the Company’s software solutions that help secure enterprise IT environments,” says Behdad Eghbali, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Clearlake. “We are excited to partner with Patrick and Carolyn McCarthy, Quest’s CFO, to utilise Clearlake’s OPS framework to help the Company strengthen its strategic growth plans including best practices to accelerate cloud/SaaS adoption and support its buy-and-build strategy.”
 
“IT teams worldwide rely on Quest to help them solve critical challenges that enable business growth and address crucial strategic initiatives. Quest has evolved to become a market leader in identity-centric cybersecurity, data intelligence, and  IT operations management and I want to thank Francisco Partners for helping Quest realise this vision,” says Patrick Nichols, CEO of Quest. “Our new partnership with Clearlake will accelerate Quest’s momentum as a leader and innovator as we increase our investment pace in our core product roadmaps, cloud/SaaS offerings, and global presence. We will continue to expand our customer base as computing environments and related management, modernisation, and security challenges, become more complex.”
 
“We are proud of the tremendous progress Quest has made since re-launching as an independent company, and I want to recognise Patrick Nichols and the management team for strong execution,” says Dipanjan “DJ” Deb, Co-Founder and CEO of Francisco Partners. “We have a long and successful track record executing divisional carve-out transactions and are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the Quest team to create value for the company, its customers, and its partners. We wish the Quest organisation well in their new partnership with Clearlake.”
 
Founded in 1987, Quest Software has built a reputation over three decades as a critical software solution provider for security-sensitive customers and a leader of innovation addressing rapidly evolving risks and security threats. Quest enables today’s edgeless IT ecosystem – across people, applications, and data to endpoints – allowing customers to maintain controls, mitigate and contain security threats proactively, and maintain operational up-time while decreasing costs.
 
“It has been a pleasure partnering with Patrick and the entire management team at Quest in scaling the business both organically and through strategic acquisitions,” says Brian Decker, Partner and Christine Wang, Principal at Francisco Partners. “Since our partnership with the Company, Quest has evolved to become an innovative leader in the cybersecurity, data intelligence and IT operations management markets delivering significant value to its customers and partners.”
 
“With a robust portfolio of market-leading software and SaaS solutions alongside a rich history of product innovation, we believe Quest is well positioned to capitalise on emerging growth trends in identity-centric cybersecurity, data intelligence and IT operations management software markets,” says Prashant Mehrotra, Partner, and Paul Huber, Principal at Clearlake. “Now with significant scale and completely independent, Quest is strategically differentiated in the market as a buy-and-build platform and industry consolidator, and we’re thrilled to partner with Patrick, Carolyn and the management team to help Quest accelerate growth organically and through M&A.”
 
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, pending customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions. Goldman Sachs acted as sole lead financial advisor to Quest.  J.P. Morgan also acted as financial advisor and Paul Hastings LLP acted as legal advisor to Quest.
 
Silicon Valley Tech Investment Bank and Morgan Stanley along with BoA Securities, Barclays, Evercore, and William Blair acted as financial advisors to Clearlake. Sidley Austin LLP acted as legal advisor to Clearlake.
 
Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley & Co LLC, BoA Securities, Barclays, Credit Suisse, BMO Capital Markets and Citigroup provided committed debt financing for the transaction.

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