Private equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC agreed to extend its closing date on a $2.3 billion acquisition of ForgeRock Inc. to give the US Justice Department an additional week to decide whether to challenge the deal in court, according to people familiar with the matter.
(Bloomberg) — Private equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC agreed to extend its closing date on a $2.3 billion acquisition of ForgeRock Inc. to give the US Justice Department an additional week to decide whether to challenge the deal in court, according to people familiar with the matter.
The negotiated extension will give the department’s antitrust division until Aug. 22 to file a lawsuit. The companies had previously told the government agency they would hold off on closing until after Aug. 15, the people said, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential negotiations.
Antitrust enforcers are concerned the combined company would have too much control over cybersecurity software used by large enterprises, particularly in financial services and healthcare. Thoma Bravo already owns two other cybersecurity firms – Ping Identity Holding Corp. and SailPoint Technologies Holdings Inc. The ForgeRock deal would mark Thoma Bravo’s third such acquisition in the past year.
The Justice Department declined to comment. Representatives for Thoma Bravo and ForgeRock didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Biden administration has taken an aggressive approach to antitrust, challenging dozens of deals over the past two years. A big focus of the increased scrutiny by the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission has been technology markets, where control over data and innovations are key.
The FTC has unsuccessfully sought to block two tech mergers this year, losing in court over Meta Platforms Inc.’s acquisition of a startup and Microsoft Corp.’s deal to buy Activision Blizzard Inc. The Justice Department last year lost a suit to block UnitedHealth Group Inc. from buying Change Healthcare Inc., a key exchange used by doctors, hospitals, dentists and pharmacies to transmit health insurance claims for reimbursement.
Both ForgeRock and Ping specialize in customer identity access management, software that aids companies in verifying and connecting customers to their computer systems. Okta Inc. is the largest player in the market, and Microsoft also has products that have similar functionality.
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