Jamf To Be Sold to Austin, TX-based Private Equity Firm

Jamf, a Minneapolis-based company that helps businesses set up and manage Apple computers and mobile devices that employees use for work, says it has agreed to sell a majority stake in the company to Austin, TX-based Vista Equity Partners.

While Jamf is headquartered in the Twin Cities, it was originally based in Eau Claire, WI, and still has offices there. Jamf is reported to have about 700 employees, 219 of whom are based in Wisconsin. The rest of the company’s workers are either based in Minnesota or work from one of Jamf’s numerous satellite offices scattered across the globe.

Jamf has become a key employer and an anchor technology company in Eau Claire, which has a population of about 68,000.

Jamf says the deal with Vista, a private equity firm with operations in several U.S. cities, will allow Jamf “to accelerate its growth and innovation through focused investment and strategic acquisitions.”

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed in a press release announcing the deal.

Jamf says it licenses its software to more than 13,000 organizations. According to Jamf, its customers include 15 of the 25 largest U.S.-based corporations (as measured by yearly revenue). In addition to corporate clients, Jamf also works with schools, government agencies, and healthcare providers that run on Apple devices. Jamf says its annual recurring revenue increased by more than 40 percent in 2016.

Zach Halmstad founded Jamf in 2002 after developing enterprise tools for Mac computers as part of an IT job at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he was studying music. Halmstad led the company with Chip Pearson until mid-2015, when Dean Hager was named CEO.

During the 15 years Jamf has been in business, Apple has thrived; the California-based computer and gadget maker currently has the largest market capitalization of any U.S.-based company.

In a 2015 interview with Xconomy, Halmstad acknowledged that the timing of Jamf’s launch turned out to be fortuitous. “We were lucky from that standpoint that we really did have a focus way before anyone else really viewed [Apple] as a sexy company to build for,” Halmstad said at the time. Still, Jamf’s growth and ability to attract a sizeable investment from Vista is a testament to the efforts of Halmstad, Pearson, and others at the company over the years.

Vista has bought several tech businesses in recent years, including Framingham, MA-based Applause earlier this year.

In a prepared statement, Vista co-founder and president Brian Sheth says he and others at the organization “look forward to working with the Jamf leadership team to support their growth.”

Jamf says it expects the transaction with Vista to close later this year.

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