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

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Citrix Systems Inc.


CTXS -3.82%

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. 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 U.S. 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.

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 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 matt.grossman@wsj.com

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