Thoma Bravo LLC

  • Overview

Take a bow

Thoma Bravo and its predecessor firms are the pioneers of the "buy and build" concept, striving to create stronger companies in growth industries like software, health care, education, consumer and value-added distribution industries, and financial services.  The majority of Thoma Bravo's investments fall into the sector of software, where the company boasts portfolio companies with aggregate revenue and profits of approximately $2 billion and $500 million, respectively.  One of the firm's biggest success stories is the meteoric rise of PageNet, the largest wireless messaging company in the world, which Thoma Bravo grew into a $1 billion company from an $8 million investment.

Spinoff city

Thoma Bravo (formerly Thoma Cressey Bravo) underwent reconstruction with the departure of Bryan Cressey in 2008, but the firm's roots stretch back to 1980, when it was known as Golder Thoma & Co.  This original venture was started by Stanley Golder, an industry veteran who helped revolutionize the business by petitioning the government to allow pension investments in private equity, and Carl Thoma, who helped build First Chicago Corporation into one of the leading private equity companies in the country.  The duo soon became a quartet with the addition of First Chicago alum Bryan Cressey and a promotion to partner for Bruce Rauner.  The company's new name was Golder, Thoma, Cressey, Rauner Inc., but was commonly referred to as GTCR.

GTCR continued to be a private equity player until 1998, when Stanley Golder and Bruce Rauner decided to separate from Thoma and Cressey because of disagreements.  The Thoma/Cressey branch of GTCR was named Thoma Cressey Private Equity.  In 2007, Thoma and Cressey added 36-year-old whiz kid Orlando Bravo's name to the company's title, shortening the firm name to Thoma Cressey Bravo, or TCB.  The name change to Thoma Bravo in 2008 stemmed from Cressey's departure to form his own company called Cressey & Company, which will invest solely in health care services.

Software specialists

Many of Thoma Bravo's accomplishments have taken place in the software sector.  Thoma Bravo's current portfolio of software companies has revenue of approximately $2 billion and profits of approximately $500 million.  The firm acquired Manatron, Inc., a provider of integrated, enterprise-level property tax solutions, taking the company private for a value of $12 per share, or $66 million.  According to Thoma Bravo partner Scott Crabill, the formerly Nasdaq-traded company is "poised to become the clear market leader."  Thoma Bravo also added software development company CodeGear to its portfolio in June 2008.  The company was acquired by Thoma Bravo portfolio company Embarcadero for $24.5 million.

Exceeding expectations

In 2009, Thoma Bravo closed its ninth fund and even exceeded its fundraising goal when it was able to raise $822.5 million in capital commitments.  Managing partner at the firm Orlando Bravo said that the new fund was oversubscribed by more than $50 million despite challenging times.  The private equity fund, referred to as Thoma Bravo Fund IX, LP, will be used to continue the buy-and-build strategy of Thoma Bravo focusing on software, business and financial services, education, and other consolidating industries and is projected to make about 15 investments.  The first investment from the fund came in April 2008 when Thoma Bravo acquired the installation and license management software provider Acresso Software for $200 million.  The fund closing was a far cry from multibillion-dollar fund closings of the past, but it was a slight indication that limited partners have gained back the confidence in entrusting their capital to private equity firms.



Thoma Bravo LLC


Sears Tower
233 South Wacker Drive, 92nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 777-4444
Fax: (312) 777-4445
www.thomacressey.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Founder: Carl D. Thoma
  • 2006 Employees: 31

Key Financials

  • 2006 Revenue: $9 million