Elliott and Vista nears $13 billion deal to buy Citrix - source

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Robert Smith, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Vista Equity Partners, speaks at the Milken Institute's 21st Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S. May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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Jan 30 (Reuters) - Elliott Management Corp and Vista Equity Partners are close to buying Citrix Systems Inc (CTXS.O) in a deal that values the U.S. cloud computing company at about $13 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The deal, which could be announced as soon as early this week, came after Elliott and Vista jointly tapped the loan market to fund their cash bid for Citrix at $104 per share. Once taking Citrix private, Vista plans to merge it with Tibco, another data analytics software firm it owns.

The cash bid comes lower than where Citrix stock closed at $105.55 on Friday. Still, the price represents a premium to its lows in December.

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Citrix's products allow employees of companies to access their network remotely. However, it failed to capitalize on the rise of remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic because it spent too much on its salesforce and too little on its distribution partners, Citrix interim Chief Executive Robert Calderoni said on the company's most recent quarterly earnings call.

Citrix, Elliott and Vista did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Elliott, the hedge fund that has amassed a stake in Citrix, has been looking for partners to take the company private since last October, sources said.

While Citrix has struggled to transition to a subscription-based business, demand for its cloud services soared during the pandemic as companies shifted to remote working models.

Still, the company reported operating income of $84.5 million in the third quarter, down from $128.3 million a year ago, as higher operational expenses weighed.

Calderoni took over on an interim basis from David Henshall, who stepped down last month, having served as Citrix CEO since 2017. Elliott managing partner Jesse Cohn joined the Citrix board of directors in 2015 and stepped down last year.

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Reporting by Krystal Hu in New York; editing by Diane Craft

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