Box For Sale: Private Equity, Cloud Software Companies Interested?

Box is exploring a potential sale amid pressure from hedge fund Starboard Value, Reuters reports.

Potential buyer names were not mentioned in the report, though the exploratory discussions apparently include IT companies and private equity firms. Box’s current valuation is $3.78 billion, according to Yahoo Finance — which suggests an actual sale price would involve bids of at least $4 billion or more.

Box’s revenue was $198.9 million in Q4 of fiscal year 2021, up 8 percent from Q4 of fiscal year 2020, the company announced in early March 2021. Box has spent recent years expanding from file sync and sharing into a full-blown content management platform. Still, Box’s stock trades about $4.50 below its all-time high of about $28.12 in May 2018. And the current price is only marginally higher than an IPO debut in 2016, Reuters notes.

Box Competition, M&A Moves

In addition to competing vs. traditional rival Dropbox, the company has also pushed to counter cloud file sharing systems from Microsoft and Google, among others. For its part, Dropbox cut 11 percent of its staff in January 2021.

Box has also been active on the M&A front. The company announced plans to acquire cloud-based electronic signature software company SignRequest for $55 million in February. That deal, expected to close in May 2021, essentially counters DocuSign and Dropbox, which acquired e-signature startup HelloSign for $230 million in 2019.

Box has not commented on the Reuters report that the company is exploring a company sale.

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