Qlik Acquired By Thoma Bravo

It has been announced just a few hours ago that Qlik have been purchased by Thoma Bravo, a private equity investment firm with a broad portfolio of companies already under it’s wing. What does this acquisition mean for our favourite BI platform?

Qlik Acquired

dollar-1319601_640There are a number of sources reporting the purchase of Qlik by Thoma Bravo for $3.0 billion. Most of them at present simply quoting from the press release that has been issued.

A few of these sources can be found here:

Business Wire
Wall Street Journal
Bloomberg
Fortune
Qlik

From what has been said so far, it would appear that this is going to be as near to situation normal as we as a developer community could hope for, with the same management team and head office location remaining in place.

For those who have invested in shares in Qlik, today is a very good day, as they can expect a windfall on their shares as a result of the acquisition.

What Does This Mean For QlikView and Qlik Sense?

As far as I can see, this can only be a positive announcement for users and integrators of Qlik products. The acquisition would appear to be welcomed by Qlik management, and Lars Björk has said that this acquisition will allow Qlik the flexibility to execute their strategic plan.

So, hopefully the injection of funds into the business will accelerate the development of the platform and mean that we can expect to see great new features in Qlik Sense 3.0 and beyond.

The hottest topic in the Qlik space at the moment is definitely the positioning of QlikView vs Qlik Sense, and it will remain to be seen whether anything will change on this front. It would be nice to see the investment giving Qlik the flexibility to truly deliver on the two product strategy it talked about – but this remains to be seen.

Looking at the roster of companies that Thoma Bravo have already invested in, they certainly seem to have an active interest in companies that are pushing new technology and have innovative solutions. This can only be a positive thing, as I see it.

Given the fact that there have been rumblings about companies that already have their own BI products purchasing Qlik, it is a relief that the purchase has instead come from someone who is not going to look to integrate features of Qlik Sense and QlikView into their own product range and then retire the products. This has been a concern since the IPO, and today will hopefully mean the chances of that happening are significantly reduced.

And Where To From Here?

Obviously this is still breaking news as I write, so it is far too early to talk about what changes it will bring about. I will add to the comments on this post as new information comes to light. I would also welcome you to add your thoughts and any further information on the topic below also.

By |2016-06-16T13:15:51+00:00June 2nd, 2016|Announcements|13 Comments

About the Author:

Steve is owner and principal consultant at Quick Intelligence. He is a Qlik Luminary, Qlik Community MVP and Technical Editor of a number of QlikView Books.

13 Comments

  1. EVOLCON SA DE CV June 2, 2016 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the update Steve. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the word acquired, but I’m glad the word SAP or Oracle didn’t follow that word. I agree that it is the kind of acquisition that will have the least amount of impact on what we do today. Of course, there will changes in strategy, but we’ve already gone through quite a few of those over the years. In the mean time, this won’t change any of the plans I’ve laid out for me or my business over the next year.

    • Steve Dark June 2, 2016 at 5:53 pm - Reply

      Hi Karl – indeed, my Plan B for the Qlik platform being retired isn’t as fully formed as it perhaps should be. Obviously there will be changes ahead, and these will filter through slowly, but it is certainly no cause to panic. Hopefully sales of Learning QlikView Data Visualisation will not be negatively impacted by the announcement either!

  2. angelmonjaras June 2, 2016 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    Thank you, Steve. I am optimistic about the potential strategic adjustment that could result from this. Key changes in licensing, marketing and sales, to name a few areas, should result in making Qlik even more valuable as a company!

    • Steve Dark June 2, 2016 at 7:58 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your comment. My concern is that Qlik may be ‘encouraged’ to put their prices up, or phase out products that smaller businesses rely on – such as QlikView Desktop. Only time will tell though.

  3. Martin Mahler June 2, 2016 at 11:46 pm - Reply

    Couple of comments from my side:
    The share price paid ($30.50) is not really a windfall for shareholders as the stock was priced to market (just two days ago the price was at about $32).
    There was no injection of funds into the company itself as it did not issue new shares or debt. Existing shareholders were paid out in cash.

    Private Equity firms are usually involved in those deals for one reason only – to make money. Similar to someone buying property to renovate it, PEs take companies private, restructure and sell or go public again. The latter is the case when a company is usually in trouble due to bad management. In Qlik’s case though the numbers seem solid – my only guess is they plan to restructure Qlik and prepare it for a bigger sell-off to a larger vendor in 1-2 years time. What’s positive about it is that Qlik will then likely become more corporate/enterprise friendly and follow a more adaptive rather than visionary strategy to data analytics.

    A good thing to follow now would be to see who gets hired/fired at Qlik in the next months…

    • Steve Dark June 3, 2016 at 2:16 am - Reply

      Hi Martin,

      Thank you for your insights. Certainly sounds like there will be interesting times ahead, and we can expect to see a faster rate of change in the organisation than there has been for a while.

      Hopefully if Qlik is reshaped to be more profitable when a re-sale happens it is more likely to be able to continue on in its own path rather than having the technology carved up.

  4. Barry June 3, 2016 at 12:39 am - Reply

    Hi Steve,

    I agree that this will probably as close to situation normal as it could’ve gotten, but still think the company will go through some big changes. Have written down some of my thoughts (and concerns) here: http://www.qlikfix.com/2016/06/03/thoma-bravo-acquires-qlik-3-billion-usd/

    Cheers,
    Barry

    • Steve Dark June 3, 2016 at 2:27 am - Reply

      Hi Barry,

      Many thanks for posting the link to your well researched and thought out article, it certainly makes for interesting reading.

      Steve

  5. Cotiso Hanganu June 3, 2016 at 6:01 am - Reply

    Let’s keep in mind also that investment funds will, most likely, sell Qlik later… which means Oracle or SAP threats are, for the moment, just postponed ! …

  6. Cotiso Hanganu June 3, 2016 at 6:55 am - Reply

    Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst… What do you consider could be your next 5 years bet(s), assuming Qlik is not performing any more ?

    • Steve Dark June 3, 2016 at 2:01 pm - Reply

      That is a tough call. As someone that came from a Microsoft background (.Net, SQL Server, ASP) I would hate to have to go back that way – but Power BI does seem to be getting some development behind it. I would have to take a fair bit of time to regroup, but I would probably look to be platform agnostic and really focus on content and design rather than platform.

  7. Neil Gulliver June 7, 2016 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    Hi, Steve.
    Typically, there will be some restructuring as is the case for so many consequences of a takeover. I suspect there will be a focus on how Qlik has purchased and integrated products in the past and what products are financially viable as this does appear to be a weakness going back as far as Qlik’s acquisition of Expressor. The Sales and Marketing that Barry touches on in his article are often playing catch-up trying to work out how to sell a product long after it’s acquisition.

    • Steve Dark June 7, 2016 at 1:27 pm - Reply

      Hopefully there will be more focus on talking to users about what they want and need. Many of the acquisitions have been sound – DataMarket for example is a good example where it complements the Qlik portfolio. They don’t seem to have engaged with users fully about how they then use this acquisition – presently you have to subscribe to a whole tranche of their data in order to be able to use any of it. A sweetshop approach where you can pick-and-mix your data would appear to me to be more what is required.

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