Mergers and Acquisitions, Mergers and Acquisitions, MSP, Networking

OpenText Set to Finalize Zix AppRiver Acquisition for More MSP Cloud Security Capabilities

OpenText expects to complete the previously announced Zix|AppRiver acquisition by December 23, 2021, the buyer said on December 21, 2021.

Once completed, the $860 million acquisition will provide OpenText with email security, backup, disaster recovery and cloud services for MSPs. Also, the acquired Zix and AppRiver businesses potentially aligns with OpenText's Webroot and Carbonite businesses.

This is technology M&A deal number 712 that ChannelE2E has covered so far in 2021. See all technology M&A deals for 2021 and 2020 listed here.

Zix Business Focus on MSPs

Zix has engaged MSP partners since acquiring AppRiver in February 2019. The company had roughly 5,600 partners as of August 2021.

Through the Zix Secure Cloud Platform, MSPs and customers can leverage a single portal for Microsoft 365 licensing, third-party security and compliance, BDR and email continuity capabilities.

The integrated cloud licensing capabilities surface roughly one year after Zix acquired CloudAlly, a BDR service that protects Microsoft 365, Google Workspace and other platforms. The net result: Zix essentially competes in the cyber resilience market.

Rumors about a potential Zix sale had surfaced in October 2021. Meanwhile, OpenText has been scouring the market for an acquisition since at least August, but CEO Mark Barrenechea had expressed concerns about lofty M&A valuations.

Zix potentially aligns with the OpenText buyout of Carbonite and Webroot from 2019. Fast forward to present day, and the combined business now pitches cyber resilience to MSPs and VARs in the enterprise market, and corporate IT managers in the enterprise. Also, OpenText now offers its own managed security services to enterprise customers.

OpenText Acquires Zix: Executive Perspectives

In a prepared statement about the OpenText-Zix deal, Zix Chairman Robert Hausmann in November 2021 said:

“We are pleased to announce this transaction with OpenText. Following a strategic review conducted by our Board of the Directors (the “Board”), triggered in part by unsolicited approaches from multiple parties, Zix and its financial advisor conducted a broad outreach to more than 70 strategic and financial parties over a number of months. Today’s announcement is the culmination of that process. This transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Zix Board, delivers to Zix’s stockholders liquidity, value certainty and a high likelihood and speed to closing with a proven acquirer.”

Added Zix CEO Dave Wagner:

“Over the past several years, Zix has expanded its product portfolio and customer base through acquisitions and organic initiatives. We are thrilled to join forces with OpenText and add Zix’s Secure Cloud Platform to the Carbonite and Webroot products in OpenText’s SMB Platform. OpenText provides the ideal opportunity to help Zix achieve its next phase of growth. This transaction will bring greater resources and product capabilities, and provide significant benefits to our customers, partners and employees.”

Note: Story originally published November 8, 2021. Updated December 21, 2021 with the deal's anticipated date of close. 

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.