Citrix Systems to Go Private in Deal Valued at $ 16.5 Billion, Including Debt

Citrix Systems Inc.

CTXS -3.75%

will be taken private in an all-cash acquisition valued at $ 16.5 billion, including debt, making the cloud-computing company the latest subject of a big leveraged buyout following a surge in deals last year.

Citrix stockholders will receive $ 104 a share from the two buyers: Vista Equity Partners and Evergreen Coast Capital Corp., the private-equity arm of Elliott Management Corp. Citrix makes software that gives users remote access to their computers and provides other cloud services.

Citrix shares closed Friday at $ 105.55 following a jump in the company’s stock price in recent weeks as speculation about an acquisition emerged. In early Monday trading, shares fell 3.7% to $ 101.68. The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that the deal was nearing completion.

Vista and Evergreen plan to combine Citrix with Tibco Software, a Vista portfolio company that provides data-management software for businesses. The move would create a business with 400,000 customers and 100 million users in 100 countries, the companies said Monday. Citrix would keep its name and its headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

A deal taking Citrix private marks one of the biggest leveraged buyouts in recent months, picking up from a flurry of activity last year. Private-equity firms announced more than $ 900 billion worth of deals in the US in 2021, including buyouts and exits.

Software companies such as Citrix have been especially sought after as targets for private-equity firms because they can carry significant amounts of debt.

Citrix has been working through a transition to a subscription-based model for its core virtual-desktop services. Converting customers into subscribers instead of licensees provides more recurring revenue, which investors like and have come to expect from software companies.

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David Henshall in October stepped down as Citrix’s president and chief executive after investor pressure to explore a sale of the company. He also left as a director along with another board member, a move that reduced the board’s size to eight. The company tapped Chairman Bob Calderoni as interim CEO.

Vista executive Monti Saroya said that as a private company, Citrix would get more flexibility to invest in high-growth markets.

For the last three months of 2021, Citrix logged in revenue of $ 850.8 million, a 5.1% year-over-year increase. Its earnings were $ 102.9 million, or 81 cents a share, down from $ 112.1 million, or 89 cents a share, 12 months earlier.

Write to Matt Grossman at [email protected]

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