Private equity firm TPG Capital acquired Forcepoint's government cybersecurity business from Francisco Partners this week for $2.45 billion.
First reported by The Wall Street Journal Sunday, Forcepoint confirmed Monday that it signed a definitive agreement to sell a portion of the cybersecurity vendor to TPG, which boasts a mixed portfolio that includes several software and enterprise technology vendors. The announcement comes a little more than two years after global investment firm Francisco Partners acquired Forcepoint, based in Austin, Texas, from Raytheon Technologies in January 2021.
While the deal is substantial at $2.45 billion, the acquisition only includes Forcepoint's Global Governments and Critical Infrastructure (G2CI) business, which will now be classified as an independent entity. Francisco Partners will retain ownership of Forcepoint's commercial business, in addition to a minority stake in G2CI.
According to a press release Monday, G2CI has been active in the U.S. government for more than 20 years. The business provides security offerings for defense, intelligence and critical infrastructure organizations.
"Today's operating environment -- one in which data volumes are compounding, attack surfaces are broadening, and threats are growing in sophistication -- demands dynamic security solutions," said Tim Millikin, partner at TPG, in the press release. "This is especially true for the public sector, and Forcepoint has designed its platform to address the unique complexities of government objectives and culture. We're excited to partner with Sean [Berg, G2CI president,] and the G2CI team to expand the platform and further its position as a leader in high assurance, zero trust security."
A Forcepoint spokesperson said the deal will enable Forcepoint's commercial business to focus on the company's secure access service edge (SASE) platform known as Forcepoint One. The cloud-based platform launched in February of last year as a zero-trust offering, intended to assist a growing hybrid workforce with a focus on data security.
The public sector has suffered an array of cyber attacks recently, particularly ones that involve ransomware, and many have led to data breaches. For example, a threat actor associated with the Clop ransomware gang exploited a zero-day vulnerability in Progress Software's MoveIt Transfer product and has since claimed several state government entities as victims.
Software supply chain attacks have been an ongoing issue, particularly highlighted by the SolarWinds hack in 2020 that affected the vendor's Orion software used by federal agencies. The topic gained additional attention in March when it was addressed in the White House's National Cybersecurity Strategy, which sought to strengthen the security of global technology supply chains to better protect federal agencies.
The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Arielle Waldman is a Boston-based reporter covering enterprise security news.