Stop the presses -- or at least the rumors. We now know who will buy middleware analytics provider Tibco: Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm.

At $4.3 billion, it is the largest tech buyout this year.

And worried Tibco shareholders who have seen their investments slide by as much as 23 percent in the past year, should be relieved to cut their losses a bit. In the last week the stock was trading as high as $20 per share. Vista is paying $24.
 

The news may not come as a shocker to Tibco watchers: a sale had been rumored, on and off, for years. First we were led to believe SAP might be an acquirer, but more recently activist investors Praesidium Investment Management and Starboard Value have been putting on the pressure.

A Tibco insider who asked to remain anonymous says that the company is hoping that with the financial pressures off of its back, it will be able to think long term.

The company’s CEO, Vivek Ranadivé, echoes this sentiment, “As a private company, Tibco will have added flexibility to serve our customers and execute on our long-term strategy,” he said in a statement. “We are excited to work with our new partners at Vista and enter our next chapter of growth and industry leadership.”

Too Old to be Agile?

With newer companies like Tableau coming into the BI market, Tibco’s better established products may have lost their luster of late. But the company had been making moves to reinvigorate itself. In April it bought Jaspersoft, a big data play which provides tools for gaining insight from multiple data sources, thereby informing better decisions.

Insights from Data in Motion

Michael Morrison, CEO of Datawatch sees the sale as proof positive that the data discovery business is hot.

“For a private equity investor to pay the premium it did is validation that Tibco’s area of focus -- streaming, real time data for analytics and insights -- is an important area of the visualization market,” he says. 

Datawatch, it should be noted, provides tools for gleaning insight from data in motion. Tibco had been talking about “fast data” of late.