Citrix heads private to merge with TIBCO in $16.5 billion cloud gambit

Citrix heads private to merge with TIBCO in $16.5 billion cloud gambit

Citrix and TIBCO combined = an enterprise SaaS powerhouse? That's the theory anyway...

Published on 2nd February 2022

Citrix and TIBCO are to merge to create what is being pitched as a SaaS enterprise giant, servicing 100 million users in 100 countries, including 98% of the Fortune 500.

The long term direction of Citrix has been the subject of some debate in recent years. Rumors of a buy out by Evergreen Coast Capital, the private equity firm owned by activist investor Elliott Management Corp, emerged in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend, before being confirmed by Citrix yesterday. Evergreen is joined by affiliates of Vista Equity Partners in the $16.5 billion deal. Vista acquired TIBCO in 2014 for $4.3 billion.

Following planned completion of the transaction mid-year, Citrix will continue to operate under its brand, but will be a private company and merge with TIBCO. As per the official announcement:

The combination brings together Citrix’s secure digital workspace and application delivery suite with TIBCO’s real-time intelligent data and analytics capabilities to empower customers and users with the secure application and information access and insights they need to accelerate digital transformation and navigate the hybrid workplace. The combined company will be positioned to provide complete, secure and optimized infrastructure for enterprise application and desktop delivery and data management to advance hybrid cloud IT strategies and meet the needs of the modern enterprise.


It’s all about the changed nature of the way enterprises work, according to TIBCO CEO Dan Streetman:

The workplace has changed forever, and companies everywhere will require real-time access to faster, smarter insights from the increasingly large volumes of data available to them, their employees, and their ecosystems.

Despite having some useful work-from-home tech at its disposal, Citrix hasn’t maintained the high-flying growth numbers of other remote working enablers, admitting in November that it had over-estimated its likely growth rate in 2021 following a COVID boost in 2020.

Yesterday it turned in Q4 numbers showing 5% year-on-year revenue growth to $851 million, while full year revenue actually declined one percent to $3.32 billion. Net income for Q4 was $103 million, down from $112 million a year ago, while the full year numbers fell from $504 million last year to $307 million.

The firm has struggled with the transition to a subscription-based cloud operating model. It’s notable that this was cited as a driver for the planned merger as Citrix interim CEO Bob Calderoni noted:

As a private company, we will have increased financial and strategic flexibility to invest in high-growth opportunities, such as DaaS (Desktop-as-a-Service), and accelerate its ongoing cloud transition.

Just a couple of months back Calderoni, who stepped into the interim CEO role at short notice following the departure of David Henshall last October, admitted:

From a business perspective, we've proven success in our transition to the cloud with over a billion dollars of SaaS ARR, and we have largely transitioned our model to recurring revenues with over $3 billion of ARR. There's lots to point to on a positive side, but I think it's fair to say there's also been some missteps along the way, which is clearly overshadowing our success. These missteps are largely in our go-to market motion and in our own forecasting, and I'm confident they are all fixable.

Now we know the plan.


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