Citrix is reportedly up-for-sale, with the company having hired ubiquitous investment bankers Goldman Sachs to help sniff-out potential buyers.
That is according to Bloomberg, which cites unnamed sources. In addition to pursuing the usual technology giants - Oracle, Microsoft etcetera - Citrix is also being hawked to private equity groups, and could join the likes of BMC Software, Compuware and Tibco in being taken private. Not surprisingly, Citrix's share price rose on the news.
Citrix is valued at about $13bn and has been looking for a buyer for some time.
In 2015 it opened negotiations with Elliott Management Corporation, appointing the investment firm's senior portfolio manager and head of US equity activism, Jesse Cohn, to the board.
However, the negotiations did not result in a sale. Instead, Citrix spun off its GoTo family of collaboration products and merged them with SaaS connectivity firm LogMeIn in a $1.8bn deal.
While a deal with Elliott may be off the table, at least for now, other investors are reportedly still interested, including technology buyout specialist Thoma Bravo, according to the sources, although none of the parties involved have yet to comment publicly on the matter.
The high value of Citrix's stock, boosted by several months of good financial performance, makes the matter of finding a buyer with deep enough pockets more difficult.
There has long been speculation that Microsoft would be a good fit as the two companies have collaborated as partners for the last 25 years, with Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop virtual desktop infrastructure environments integrating with Skype for Business and Office 365, and with Citrix selecting Azure as its default cloud platform.
But unless Microsoft plans to dramatically increase its presence in the competitive collaboration space there would seem to be little reason for it to change its relationship with Citrix. Rival VMware is also another potential suitor.
A key player in enterprise collaboration, Avaya, recently filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy and entered an agreement with Extreme Networks over the sale $100m of assets from its networking business.
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