Zix hires Citigroup to negotiate sale of company: report

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Zix has hired financial services giant Citigroup to negotiate the sale of the email security provider to other firms or private equity firms, Reuters reported.

The Dallas-based email security provider is exploring strategic alternatives that include a sale of the company, according to Reuters, which cited people familiar with the matter. There is no certainty that an agreement to sell Zix will be reached, sources told Reuters. Zix and Citigroup declined to comment to CRN on the Reuters report.

Zix stock was up $ 0.73 (9.53%) to $ 8.39 per share on Tuesday morning, which is the company’s highest share price since February 25. The Reuters report was released after the market closed on Monday. Zix shares have been listed on the Nasdaq for almost 32 years.

[Related: Zix AppRiver Exec: Global Expansion Aligns One-On-One Approach To Helping Partners Grow]

The company has a valuation of $ 476 million and competes with much larger email security providers such as Mimecast and Proofpoint, the latter having been sold to private equity firm Thoma Bravo in August for 12.3. billion dollars in the biggest cybersecurity acquisition of all time. Zix entered the MSP market with its $ 275 million purchase of AppRiver, the mainstay of email and web security, in January 2019.

Zix was founded in 1988 and employed 543 people as of Dec.31, 2020, down 4.1% from 566 employees a year earlier, according to regulatory documents. About 92 percent of Zix’s workforce is located in the United States, primarily in Dallas or Gulf Breeze, Florida, with the remaining 8 percent located overseas. AppRiver was based at Gulf Breeze.

The company’s revenue for calendar year 2020 jumped to $ 218.5 million, up 26% from $ 173.4 million in 2019, mainly due to the acquisition of AppRiver. Its loss for 2020 improved to $ 15.5 million, or $ 0.29 per diluted share, or 37.3% better than the loss of $ 24.6 million, or $ 0.46 per share. diluted, the previous year.

Despite the growth, Zix’s sales are less than half that of its messaging security rival, Mimecast, which saw revenue increase in its fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, to $ 501.4 million. dollars, up 17.4% from $ 427 million a year earlier. And Zix is ​​less than a quarter the size of main competitor Proofpoint, which saw 2020 revenue soar to $ 1.05 billion, up 18% from $ 888.2 million a year earlier. early.

Last year, Zix extended its suite of products to include Microsoft Office 365 backup with the purchase of data backup and recovery provider CloudAlly. The purchase of Israel-based CloudAlly for $ 30 million helped Zix customers protect Office 365, Google Workspace, SharePoint, OneDrive, Salesforce, Dropbox and Box with anytime backup and restore with unlimited retention of data. data.

The company has 5,500 solution provider partners and does 60% of its business through its channel, CRNtv reported earlier this month. Jason Macias has been responsible for all MSP, VAR and DMR activities at Zix since joining the company in July 2019 as Regional Vice President of Sales for North America, while Justin Gilbert has joined the company. in April 2020 as Senior Director of Channel Marketing.

In April 2020, Zix combined the security and compliance offering of its 2019 acquisition of AppRiver with its own to create a single platform that protects digital communication tools. The company has spent $ 20 million to develop Zix Secure Cloud and improve its platform and application capabilities since the AppRiver purchase closed 14 months earlier, CEO Dave Wagner told CRN at the ‘era.


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