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TA Associates buys online authentification company DigiCert

17 Dec 2012

Global growth equity firm TA Associates has made its latest investment in the online security sector by purchasing authentication and encryption company DigiCert.

The deal follows TA’s 2008 investment in Canadian business Radialpoint, which provides managed internet security and digital home care services to broadband providers.

The US-based company aims to provide secure information transfer by using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates, which websites must use to initiate secure sessions with web browsers.

DigiCert is the world’s third largest issuer of high-assurance certificates, serving more than 60,000 clients in 176 countries.

TA managing director A Bruce Johnson said, “Growth in the SSL certificate market is the result of several trends, including the need for web pages handling sensitive information to have secure lines for data transfer, as well as new security challenges posed by cloud computing.

“In addition, the continued growth in e-commerce and the attendant need to establish secure vendor websites will foster ongoing demand for SSL certificates.

“DigiCert is well positioned to capitalize on these trends.”

TA has also been active in the internet and antivirus business area through investments in McAfee in 1991, Sophos in 2002 and AVG in 2009.

Sophos was bought by Apax Partners in May 2010, while the other two both held IPOs within three years of TA’s purchase.

TA Associates had cleared $1bn for its seventh Atlantic & Pacific buyout vehicle in May, just a month after it made its first sale.

That put TA well on the way to reaching the $1.75bn target it also managed for its 2007 buyout fund, although no fund close has been announced to date.

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