05 Sep 2022

Kirkland, Cooley and Davis Polk act in Roper's $3.7bn acquisition of Frontline Education

Kirkland advised longtime client Thoma Bravo while Cooley acted for Frontline and Davis Polk advised Roper Technologies

Kirkland's Washington DC office Shutterstock; JHVEPhoto

Kirkland & Ellis, Cooley and Davis Polk & Wardwell have advised in connection to private equity firm Thoma Bravo’s sale of education software provider Frontline Education to Roper Technologies for $3.725bn. 

The all-cash transaction, expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022, marks the end of a five-year partnership between Thoma Bravo and Frontline, during which Frontline was able to significantly grow its revenue, according to a statement. 

Neil Hunn, CEO and President of Roper Technologies, added: “The acquisition of Frontline demonstrates Roper's disciplined capital deployment strategy that focuses on identifying high-quality, market-leading technology businesses that will enhance Roper's cash flow compounding.”

Cooley advised Frontline, while Kirkland advised both Frontline and longtime client Thoma Bravo and Davis Polk acted for Roper Technologies.  

Kirkland’s team was led by corporate partners Peter Stach and Ted Peto. The duo worked alongside associates Chad Rogers, Brayton Deprey, Maria Fay Karras, Austin Fregene and Andrew Marshall. Cooley’s team was led by partners Miguel Vega and Michael Rohr as well as associate Nick Kenyon. 

The Davis Polk corporate team was made up of partners John Amorosi and Michael Gilson, counsel Jacob Kleinman and associates Allison First and Natasha Shah. The executive compensation team comprised partner Jennifer Conway and associate Justin Alexander Kasprisin, with tax partner Kara Mungovan also working on the deal. The intellectual property and technology transactions team was made up of partner Frank Azzopardi and associate S. Dream Montgomery. The entire Davis Polk team is based in New York. 

Mark Gruzin, Frontline’s CEO, said the acquisition marked the next phase of the company’s journey. 

“We are deeply appreciative of Thoma Bravo's partnership over the last five years and the contributions from our dedicated team members, which have allowed us to deliver an expanded portfolio of mission-critical solutions for our clients,” he said. 

The sale is the latest in a series of transactions in which Kirkland has acted for Chicago-based Thoma Bravo, one of the largest private equity firms in the world with more than $114bn in assets. Kirkland teams also advised the company on its $6.9bn acquisition of identity security firm SalePoint in April and its purchase of business planning software company Anaplan for $10.4bn in March. 

And last year, Thoma Bravo hired veteran Kirkland partner Jerry Nowak as general counsel and chief administrative officer. Nowak departed Kirkland after 27 years, according to his LinkedIn page. 

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