COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Avocent Corp. has offered $416 million in stock and cash for LANDesk Group Ltd.
Avocent (Huntsville, Ala.) has its roots in server management for KVM (keyboard/video/mouse) switches, but expanded its reach significantly in March when it acquired Cyclades Corp., a developer of serial device management and power-management software, for $90 million.
Everett Brooks, who joined Avocent three years ago from Adtran in order to look for strategic acquisitions, said the LANDesk legacy in desktop management made immediate sense for Avocent. Bob Macfarlane, vice president at LANDesk (Salt Lake City), emphasized that the company, whose key customers include Lenovo and Intel, had not been looking for a suitor.
"When Avocent approached us, the concept made more and more sense, and the successful addition of Cyclades helped to interest many of our people," Macfarlane said. "We definitely had not been searching for a partner, but Avocent is offering a good deal of autonomy for LANDesk as a business unit."
The deal comprises $200 million in stock, $200 million in cash, and $16 million in assumed options, with an additional $60 million available for LANDesk if certain targets are met. LANDesk operations will remain in Salt Lake City.
LANDesk started life as a key partner of Intel in the Desktop Management Task Force, before being acquired outright by Intel. In 2002, the founders spun the company back out of Intel again.
LANDesk presently employs about 500 people.
Brooks said that Avocent wants to emphasize the multi-platform presence of LANDesk in Mac, Solaris, and Linux clients, “but the strong association with Windows and Intel is certainly a positive.”
“The KVM switch roots means that the world still views Avocent as an emergency access management tool, but the addition of Cyclades and LANDesk shows that we are covering server management, network management, client, handheld, and even display management. There are holes, to be sure, but we are building a strong tool base,” Brooks said.