Exclusive: Perforce’s Perfecto purchase?

by Brenon Daly

Veteran software development vendor Perforce has only recently emerged as a slow-and-steady consolidator of the various tools and technologies that make up that fragmented market. However, since the 23-year-old company changed private equity (PE) owners earlier this year, it has gotten more aggressive on acquisitions. It has also gotten more ambitious, with the market buzzing that Perforce has just sealed its largest-ever deal.

Although the purchase has not yet been announced, we understand that Perforce has acquired Perfecto Mobile. Exact terms couldn’t be learned, but several market sources put the deal value at $150-200m. Assuming the price is in that neighborhood, Perforce would be valuing the mobile application development startup at 3-4x trailing sales.

After bootstrapping its way through its first two decades of business, Perforce sold to PE shop Summit Partners in early 2016. Summit owned Perforce for two years, with the company picking up a DevOps tool provider in each of those years, according to 451 Research’s M&A KnowledgeBase. In its inaugural acquisition, Perforce bought application lifecycle management specialist Seapine Software, and followed that up by reaching across the Atlantic Ocean for Hansoft Technologies, an Agile tool planner vendor based in Sweden.

More recently, fellow buyout firm Clearlake Capital purchased Perforce in January, in a transaction that priced the company at nearly three times higher than Summit paid, according to our understanding. (Subscribers to the M&A KnowledgeBase can see our estimates for terms for both Summit-Perforce and Clearlake-Perforce.)

In its first deal in the Clearlake portfolio, Perforce nabbed Programming Research, which added security and compliance development features to its platform. That trend has driven several similar acquisitions in the DevOps market, as has the emergence of mobile apps as a major initiative at many companies. With its focus on customer-facing mobile apps, Perfecto extends Perforce’s platform to that market. The transaction is expected to be announced next month, according to our understanding.

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Posted in M&A