Citrix is clearly in a bullseye. In July the company, under pressure from activist investor Elliott Management, said long-time CEO Mark Templeton would retire once a successor is found and added Elliott-friendly board members to the mix. Earlier this week, Reuters had the company shopping itself to Dell.
Clearly things are in flux, but a source close to the company said an internal email sent by Templeton this week denied that the company is on the block and reiterated previously stated plans—pushed by Elliott— to sell off “non-core” businesses.
The source said the meeting between Michael Christinziano, Citrix vice president of strategic development, and Dell was more about taking Citrix private than selling it. Dell, led by its founder and executive officer Michael Dell, famously went private two years ago.
Back in June, Elliott Management said it wanted Citrix to either spin off or sell “GoToMeeting” and look into selling NetScaler, according to Reuters.
Citrix (CTXS), headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. but with major offices in Silicon Valley, sells desktop, application and server virtualization products and mobile management tools which are seen as its mainstream businesses. The fact that it’s a virtualization power gives it some credibility in cloud computing, a model which relies on virtualization to cram more workloads onto less hardware.
The company competes with VMware (VMW) in almost all those markets but Citrix as stated above also in “non-core” collaboration and web conferencing fields via GoToMeeting and NetScaler, an application performance optimization tool.
If VMware wanted to roll up a chunk of the virtualization market it does not already own Citrix could make a good acquisition target. The fact that Microsoft (MSFT) and Red Hat (RHT) are in the virtualization business might make this a tolerable deal from a regulatory perspective.
Fortune has reached out to Citrix for comment and will update this story as needed.
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