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What a difference 4 years makes: Cloudera goes private again in $5.3bn buyout

CDR and KKR the new owners of shape-shifting data platform biz

Cloudera has been snapped up by private equity firms CDR and KKR in a cash deal worth around $5.3 billion, the California-based data biz confirmed today.

The transaction is reported to deliver "substantial value to Cloudera shareholders," who will receive $16.00 cash per share - a 24 per cent premium on Friday’s closing price.

In a statement, Cloudera CEO Rob Bearden said that the deal would help accelerate the firm’s "long-term path to hybrid cloud leadership for analytics that span the complete data lifecycle - from the Edge to AI."

Separately, Cloudera announced it had agreed to buy Datacoral and Cazena to boost its place in the hybrid cloud space.

Founded in 2016 and based in San Francisco, Datacoral offers a cloud-native, no-code data integration and data pipeline platform. Massachusetts-based Cazena is known for its work in cloud data lakes.

Financial details about these two acquisitions were not released but in a statement Bearden said: “The acquisitions will enable Cloudera to usher in a new era of low-code, no-code self-service by automating complex operations – enabling our customers to focus on getting value from their data rather than configuring, operating and managing the underlying infrastructure.

“Both businesses will enable our combined customers to enjoy a reduction in complexity and faster time to value for their data initiatives, leading to improved insights, faster innovation, and stronger engagements with their customers and partners,” he said.

It's been an eventful time for Cloudera, announcing the merger with big data rival Hortonworks in October 2018, a deal intended to create a market badass, just a year after filing its own IPO and going public.

By June 2019, Tim Reilly, CEO of the combined entity, quit after three months in his post. This came amid a slowdown in bookings from existing customers, attributed to roadmap uncertainty following the merger and to some holding off purchases ahead of the roll out of Cloudera's data platform that runs on public and private clouds.

Cloudera set its sights of generating a $1bn turnover - something that has yet to be realised - and in a seeming new strategy launched a NoSQL key-value database.

For fiscal years 2020 and 2021 that ended 31 January, Cloudera reported a turnover of $667.8m and $782m respectively. During those years it narrowed operating losses from $339.7m to $156.26m.

According to the Q1 results filed today [PDF] for the period ended 30 April 2021, Cloudera generated an operating loss of $33.7m on sales of $200.6m. This compared an operating loss of $55.8m and sales of $187m.

No doubt the new private equity owners will find plenty of synergies cost savings to be had. ®

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