Private equity giant opens London office as foreign buyout firms eye UK takeovers
One of the world’s largest private equity houses is opening an office in the UK as it seeks acquisitions here and in Europe.
Based in Chicago with offices in San Francisco and Miami, Thoma Bravo has chosen London as its first base outside the United States.
The move underscores the capital’s status as one of the world’s leading financial centers and by far the largest in Europe.
Takeover baron: Thoma Bravo founder Orlando Bravo (pictured with his wife Katy) is opening a UK office for the private equity giant
Thoma Bravo, best known for his multi-billion pound deals in the technology sector, snapped up corporate security firm Proofpoint for £10 billion last year in the largest-ever cloud computing acquisition by a private equity firm.
The man behind the company is Puerto Rican-born billionaire Orlando Bravo, who at 52 is considered one of the hottest dealmakers in the US.
The buyout firm has grown so big in recent years that the company even took to Twitter in April to discuss a competing bid for Elon Musk’s bid for the social media platform.
Sources close to the company said Bravo – who owns a £32million Miami Beach villa formerly owned by musician and actor Phil Collins – is keen to spend more time in London and believes the market is ripe for takeovers.
The London office is scheduled to open this year.
Bravo said: “Europe is a critical market for Thoma Bravo’s growth and the opening of an office in London represents a significant step forward in our ability to partner with some of the best software companies in the world as we continue to expand our investment strategy global.”
A spokesperson for the company added: “The London office will serve as the company’s hub for UK and European operations, giving Thoma Bravo further access to the region’s rich ecosystem of innovative and fast-growing software and technology companies.”
Lavish: The £32million Miami mansion owned by Puerto Rico-born billionaire Orlando Bravo
The new office will be led by Irina Hemmers, who joins as a partner from Inflexion Private Equity, where she led the technology investment team.
News of the London expansion comes just three weeks after Thoma Bravo revealed it is in talks with cybersecurity giant Darktrace for a cash offer.
The British-American company has until September 12 to either make a firm offer or leave.
If the deal gets the green light, it would be a hammer blow for the London Stock Exchange, which has been plundered by takeover sharks since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
US private equity barbarians, in particular, have been scouring the market, emboldened by the pound’s weakness against the dollar and the fall in the value of UK companies during the coronavirus crisis.