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A Private Equity Firm Is Buying Jive Software for $462 Million

Jive Software, which specializes in collaborative business software, is being acquired by Wave Systems, an affiliate of private equity firm ESW Capital, for $462 million in cash. The deal is expected to close in June 2017.

The plan is to roll Jive into what ESW calls its “Aurea family of companies.” Aurea offers sales and marketing software to customers, including MetLife, PayPal, and TicketMaster. Aurea bills itself as a “customer experience” specialist, meaning that it provides businesses with ways to target, attract, and retain their customers over time.

Companies like Adobe Systems (ADBE), Salesforce (CRM), and IBM (IBM) all talk a lot about addressing how to help companies track their customers through the entire prospecting, sales, and support cycle. Recently, two separate companies—Infor and Marketo—announced an alliance to do the same.

“Jive, in combination with Aurea, enables us to bring customer experience and employee and customer engagement together.” Scott Brighton, CEO of Aurea, said in a prepared statement.

Jive (JIVE), a publicly held company, will be taken private as a result of this acquisition in what has become a recurring theme for business tech players.

Last year, PE firm Apollo Global Management took Rackspace Hosting private in a $4.3 billion deal. Earlier this month, Dell Technologies, itself the result of a massive PE investment by Silver Lake Partners in Dell Computer, sold its Spanning cloud back-up unit to PE firm Insight Venture Partners for an undisclosed sum.

Earlier that year in a two month span, Vista Equity Partners bought Ping Identity for $600 million, and Marketo, a publicly-held marketing automation software company, for $1.79 billion. Thoma Bravo’s acquired Qlik for $3 billion.

Jive Software, went public in 2011 and immediately faced a problem in that it competed with much larger companies that offered similar—sometimes free—products. Jive focused on business-focused social networking and collaboration, but Microsoft (MSFT)and Google (GOOG) also offered collaboration software tied to their other popular software applications. It also had to contend with mobile-first collaboration tools like Atlassian HipChat and Slack.

Constellation Research analyst Alan Lepofsky pointed out that Jive started out providing collaboration and communication with parties outside a company but subsequently added “intranet” or internal communications for employees. Now the question is whether that dual-track will continue.

Note: (May 1, 2017 10:27 a.m.) This story was updated to add analyst comments.