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February 14, 2021
Private equity firm TA Associates will acquire IGEL, a fast-growing virtual desktop OS provider optimized for delivery of cloud-managed services. Expect the deal, signed this week, to finalize next month.
IGEL will officially announce the acquisition on Monday. The entities aren’t revealing the purchase price.
Athene Partners’ Bill Veghte
TA is acquiring IGEL from German conglomerate Melchers Group and Heiko Gloge, an insider who created IGEL in 2001. While TA will own a controlling stake in IGEL, Melchers Group and Gloge will maintain “significant” investments in the company. Also investing in IGEL is former Microsoft and HP executive Bill Veghte, through his company, Athene Partners.
Veghte will join IGEL’s board and take on the role of executive chairman. CEO Jed Ayres told Channel Futures that getting Veghte’s involvement as a coup for IGEL.
“This is a whole trophy moment for us,” Ayres said, noting that Veghte’s role at Microsoft involved its remote desktop protocol (RDP), Windows Terminal Services and the original licensing agreement with Citrix.
“This is somebody that really understands product development – and very specifically, operating systems – and even more, the Windows kernel,” Ayres said. “To have somebody of his stature is a very significant opportunity. The credibility and insights that he brings are a perfect fit.”
IGEL, which sells exclusively through partners, began seeking this investment more than a year ago, Ayres acknowledged. As a part of Melchers Group, IGEL was part of a structure not suited for a fast-growth company.
IGEL’s Jed Ayres
“We outgrew the parent company, and needed to be a standalone entity,” Ayres said. “We all realized this, and so we started to embark on the process to identify an investor that would be well suited to help us in the level of transformation that still needs to occur as we move to a pure subscription software company.”
Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.
Ayres said it will help IGEL accelerate development of its virtual desktop OS. It will also help to provide more resources for in its partner network. IGEL has a broad partner ecosystem of distributors, VARs and managed services providers.
Forrester’s Jay McBain
“This investment will provide support in entering new markets, getting in front of new buyers, industries, geographies and adjacent product areas,” said Forrester Research principal analyst Jay McBain. “This is a huge win for IGEL as they look to expand, and a huge opportunity for the channel to play deeper in automation, cloud acceleration, and monetizing the permanent ‘remote topology’ created during the pandemic.”
The move comes as IGEL is transitioning from a provider of VDI and end-user computing (EUC) hardware to software. Its flagship software, IGEL OS, enables cloud-managed workspaces on most common clients and endpoints. The virtual desktop OS now runs on 4 million edge, VDI and cloud-managed desktops, according to the company.
A new version under development, IGEL OS 12, will pave the way to delivering its solutions through cloud marketplaces.
“That will be the moment when we also are able to start offering a subscription consumption package,” Ayres said. “This technology is extraordinarily disruptive.”
TA Associates managing director Jonathan Meeks agrees.
“We believe IGEL is setting the benchmark for the new era of computing on the endpoint and is primed to drive rapid and sustainable organic growth,” Meeks said. “With strong market leadership and a solid history of innovation and execution, IGEL is uniquely positioned to fulfill the ubiquitous need for secure, manageable cloud workspaces to support remote workers from anywhere.”
Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.
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