LogMeIn, the parent company of LastPass, has agreed to sell itself to a pair of private equity firms for $4.3 billion.
Francisco Partners and an affiliate of Elliott Management Corporation announced are buying the Boston-based LogMeIn for $86.05 a share. The deal, which is expected to close mid next year, is intended to help “accelerate growth and product investment organically and inorganically” at LogMeIn, said Andrew Kowal, senior partner at Francisco Partners said of the deal.
The news is stirring up fears that changes may be coming for LastPass, a popular and highly rated password manager with 18 million users. Private equity firms work by trying to maximize the value of an asset for later sale. This can sometimes mean restructuring a business or cutting costs by initiating layoffs, which is why the private equity business has gotten a bad rap.
However, Francisco Partners is emphasizing it wants to help LogMeIn “achieve its long-term strategic vision,” says CEO Dipanjan Deb. LogMeIn also provides a host of IT business products, including GoToMeeting, a video-conferencing tool.
Francisco Partners previously acquired Corsair, a maker of PC peripherals, only to sell a majority stake in the company to another private equity firm. Corsair is now owned by PC desktop maker Origin.
So far, LastPass has yet to comment on the takeover. But in 2015, it had to address consumer worries about possible product changes after LogMeIn acquired it. “I want to personally assure you that this is good news for our users,” LastPass co-founder Joe Siegrist said at the time. “First of all, we (LogMeIn/LastPass) have no plans to change our existing business model. Secondly, this acquisition provides us with access to resources that will enable us to innovate faster, as we continue to strive to deliver an even better product than the one you have come to know and love.”
However, in the last three years, the price for LastPass Premium has gone up from $12 to $36 a year.