Is a Private Equity Firm Buying Ektron?

3 minute read
Dom Nicastro avatar

BOSTON -- Rumblings that a private equity firm is buying web content management system (CMS) provider Ektron swept through the Gilbane Conference at the Renaissance Marriott Hotel in Boston this week.

Although sources were not willing to go on record with CMSWire, one industry insider told CMSWire that an acquisition was forthcoming — and that it did not involve another technology firm. The source did not respond when asked directly if the sale involved a private equity firm. 

Earlier this year, Ektron closed a growth equity funding round led by Accel-KKR. The company stated at the time that this minority investment, the company's first institutional round, will enable it to accelerate product and company expansion.Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Neither Greg Williams, managing director at Accel-KKR and a member of the Ektron board, or Ektron employees immediately responded to our email requests for comment.

Right Time for Buy? 

Twitter rumblings have begun, too.  

Ektron looks like a good scoop at the moment, according to numbers they reported earlier this year.

The Nashua, NH-based provider reported double-digit year-over-year growth in revenue as well as double-digit earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for fiscal year 2013. Ektron officials told CMSWire earlier this year its platform includes capabilities to unlock key parts of websites without affecting stability, involving IT resources or requiring a lengthy platform migration.

Ektron was cited by Gartner and Forrester in its last vendor-rankings reports for WCM.

Learning Opportunities

Management Changes

In September, Ektron hired a chief marketing officer (Lou Jordano), senior vice president of engineering (Chris Ramstrom) and a senior vice president of knowledge services and global alliances (Nate Treloar). Jordano held executive roles at Tibco Software and EMC, and Treloar was previously at Microsoft.

Ektron also added a private investment specialist, Peter Y. Lee, to its Board of Directors. Lee is a consultant to several private investment firms and a former executive vice president at Tibco.

In April, in conjunction with the Accel-KKR investment, it also added two representatives from the equity firm to its board: Williams and David Cusimano, vice president.

Midmarket Strength

Founded in 1998, Ektron routinely gets love from industry analysts. Lately, it has repositioned its go-to-market strategy to include a heavier emphasis on digital business and a greater focus on business impact, Gartner officials reported. Shifting to a SaaS delivery model, Ektron continues to be a leader in the midmarket and offers agility in working with larger organizations.

"Ektron continues to find itself in a period of client churn as it rationalizes its life-time product support model and correspondingly large legacy customer base," Gartner analysts reported. "This has a had an impact on its market presence, its following and its overall partner ecosystem — not just in Europe, but in its home market in the U.S. Recent additions to the management team may help to reverse this trend, but decision makers considering Ektron should monitor its progress closely."