Buyout firm Thoma Bravo adds Imperva to cyber portfolio

(Reuters) - Buyout firm Thoma Bravo LLC has agreed to buy Imperva Inc IMPV.O for $2.1 billion in cash, adding the cybersecurity firm to its technology-heavy investment portfolio, it said on Wednesday.

Sales of cybersecurity products are growing faster than the overall tech industry as businesses seek to defend themselves against financial crimes and disruption of their operations caused by hackers.

Shares of Imperva rose 28 percent to $55.10.

The 16-year-old company helps businesses protect their websites and data from cyberattacks, vying for business with F5 Networks Inc FFIV.O and Akamai Technologies Inc AKAM.O, among others.

Large companies such as Cisco Systems Inc CSCO.O and Symantec Corp SYMC.O are looking to boost growth by purchasing smaller companies with specialized products they can sell alongside their existing portfolios of security offerings, said Wedbush Securities managing director Steve Koenig.

In August, Cisco agreed to pay $2.35 billion for authentication specialist Duo Security and telecommunications and media giant AT&T Inc T.N purchased AlienVault, a cybersecurity firm that targets small and medium-size businesses.

Thoma Bravo owns other cybersecurity companies including DigiCert Inc, Bomgar Corp and LogRhythm Inc. Reuters reported in July that the private equity firm would buy a majority stake in cybersecurity firm Centrify.

Thoma Bravo will pay $55.75 per share in cash for Imperva, a 29.5 percent premium to its closing price on Tuesday. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018 or early in the first quarter of 2019.

Qatalyst Partners is acting as financial adviser to Imperva, based in Redwood Shores, California, and Fenwick & West LLP is serving as legal adviser. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal adviser to Thoma Bravo.

Reporting by Angela Moon in New York; and Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Jim Finkle