N-Able Parent SolarWinds Reviewing Possible Sale

SolarWinds, which owns remote monitoring and management company N-Able, might be sold after a third-party expressed unsolicited interest in the management software firm.

SolarWinds said in a statement Friday that the company is exploring strategic alternatives, causing the Austin, Texas-based company's stock to skyrocket 13.4 percent. The statement said there's no timetable for the review by the board of directors, and no guarantee that a sale or other form of business combination will occur.

"Consistent with our duties, our board of directors has determined that it is prudent to undertake a review to see which alternative or alternatives, including our standalone plan, are the best way to maximize shareholder value," SolarWinds CEO Kevin Thompson said in a statement.

[Related: SolarWinds Acquisition Of N-Able Leads To Growth For MSPs]

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SolarWinds said it has retained J.P. Morgan as its financial adviser and DLA Piper LLP as its legal adviser. The company declined to comment further for this story.

The company has struggled of late, with second-quarter earnings coming in lower than expected because of challenges in the licensing business. SolarWinds also lowered its annual revenue outlook, triggering the sell-off of company stock.

The company was founded in 1999 and went public in 2009. The company provides IT infrastructure management software to small businesses, educational institutions and governments, competing against vendors such as Cisco, Hewlett-Packard and IBM.

SolarWinds acquired RMM superpower N-Able in May 2013 for $120 million, to help strengthen its position servicing MSPs who support SMB clients. Since then, N-Able has added professional service automation and ticket management functionality, and has seen more demand from specialized service providers in areas such as printing, Vice President Derik Belair told CRN in March.

SolarWinds also acquired TriGeo Network Security in June 2011 for $35 million, which enabled IT organizations to collect and correlate data from virtually any device on the network for greater visibility, security and control.

Several enterprise software companies have gone private in recent years, including BMC Software, Compuware and Informatica.

Having a new corporate owner for N-Able could be advantageous if it results in greater scalability and feature functionality, according to Scott Prchal, managed services specialist at Houston-based Computex Technology Solutions, No. 130 on the CRN Solution Provider 500.

But new ownership can also add complexity for customers or lead to a loss of foresight, Prchal said.

Computex plans to switch from N-Able to Kaseya at the end of 2015 to better align with the majority of its customers, Prchal said.