Deal for work-management platform could be reached this week. Vista invested in Wrike at an $800 million valuation in 2018.

Citrix Systems Inc. is in advanced talks to buy the work-management platform company Wrike Inc. for more than $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

A deal for Wrike, owned by the technology-focused buyout firm Vista Equity Partners, could be reached as soon as this week, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information was private. It would be the largest acquisition to date for Citrix.

The deal isn’t finalized and talks could still fall apart.

Representatives for Citrix and Wrike didn’t respond to requests for comment. A representative for Vista declined to comment.

A deal topping $2 billion would likely deliver a substantial return on Vista’s investment. It would also be the largest acquisition to date for Citrix, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Vista acquired a majority stake in San Jose, California-based Wrike in 2018. That deal valued the company at $800 million, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time.

Citrix already sells some cloud and work-from-home products but the acquisition will bring it into the area of collaboration software, which helps teams work together better and complete projects.

Work collaboration software such as Wrike’s has grown in popularity as businesses have increasingly relied on remote work since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Wrike’s competitors include Asana Inc., Atlassian Inc.’s Trello Inc. and Slack Technologies Inc., which has agreed to be acquired by Inc. Wrike was founded by Andrew Filev in 2006 and is also backed by Bain Capital Ventures and Scale Venture Partners.

Shares of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Citrix, have gained 15% in the past year, giving the company a market value of about $16 billion.

Citrix had previously been subject to a campaign by Elliott Management Corp., which first disclosed its stake in Citrix in 2015. The investor, which has since exited, argued at the time that the company was suffering from execution issues and poor management and 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.

The Wrike investment was made out of Vista’s Foundation Fund III, which is focused on middle-market enterprise software, data and technology-enabled companies. The fund has deployed $2.3 billion of the $2.75 billion it has raised, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Source: Bloomberg