Citrix is in talks to buy Vista Equity’s Wrike

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The deal, rumored to be worth over $2 billion, would represent a COVID-driven increase in Wrike’s valuation since 2018.

This week Bloomberg reports that Citrix Systems is in advanced talks to buy the work-management platform company Wrike for more than $2 billion. Bloomberg’s reporting is according to people familiar with the matter, they say.

San Jose, California-based Wrike is owned by the technology-focused buyout firm Vista Equity Partners. Sources have said that the deal could be closed as early as this week. If successful, the deal would be the largest acquisition to date for Citrix, and a substantial boon for Vista Equity.

Vista acquired a majority stake in Wrike in 2018. The Wall Street journal reported at the time that the deal valued the company at only $800 million.

Another sweetheart deal inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic

Citrix already sells cloud and work-from-home products. The Wrike acquisition will bring it into the area of collaboration software. These are platforms that help teams work together better and complete projects – even remotely.

Work collaboration software such as Wrike’s has grown in popularity as the Coronavirus pandemic has forced businesses to increasingly rely on remote work. Wrike’s competitors in the collaboration space include Asana, Atlassian, Trello and Slack. Salesforce.com is planning to acquire Slack later this year.

Andrew Filev founded Wrike in 2006. Bain Capital Ventures and Scale Venture Partners also back the company.

Wrike deal reveals a revitalised Citrix

Shares of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Citrix, have gained 15% in the past year, giving the company a market value of about $16 billion. But things were not so rosy just a few years ago.

In 2015, Citrix was subject to a campaign by Elliott Management. The investor, which has since exited, stated at the time that the company was suffering from execution issues and poor management.

Elliott also argued that Citrix needed to simplify its business after a misguided buying spree. Since then, Citrix has spun off its GoTo meeting business, replaced two chief executive officers, revitalized revenue growth and expanded margins.