WebTrends Sold Too!

    March 29, 2005

WebTrends has announced that it is being acquired by Francisco Partners from NetIQ. Francisco Partners is one of the world’s largest technology-focused private equity funds.

This news comes at the same time Google has announced its intent to purchase Urchin, a direct competitor to WebTrends.

In my opinion this is not a coincidence. It is likely that Google expressed interest in both WebTrends and Urchin, ultimately choosing Urchin because it probably was less expensive to acquire. WebTrends was likely put up for auction before the announcement today.

Here’s a bit more from their release:

The transaction is being undertaken with the full participation and support of the WebTrends management team, members of which will be investing in the new business together with Francisco Partners. Greg Drew, currently general manager of WebTrends, will continue to lead the business and will assume the role of president and chief executive officer of the new standalone WebTrends business.

“As a business unit of NetIQ, we have remained a leader in a dynamic and growing category, and made breakthrough advancements in building out the industry’s most award-winning, mature and flexible web analytics platform with both on-demand and software options, along with a full range of business consulting services. Our ability to deliver the right balance of easy-to-use and accurate solutions has been well-established over the last few years with NetIQ’s full support, and this success will continue to accelerate with our new business partner,” said Greg Drew, general manager of the WebTrends business unit. “WebTrends, as a standalone company backed by Francisco Partners’ strategic insight, business network and financial strength, will deliver very tangible benefits to our customers, partners and employees. We will have increased strategic flexibility, quicker reflexes and continued access to deep resources to build on our unmatched track record of leadership and innovation. We enter this new era of WebTrends with great optimism and enthusiasm, with our complete focus on improving the business results across our customers’ web initiatives.”

“As a pioneer in web analytics, WebTrends has established a longstanding record of customer success for over 10 years. We believe the company has built the best product capabilities and strategic vision for its category today,” said Ben Ball, general partner of Francisco Partners. “We are proud to establish a deep relationship with WebTrends, and are excited about providing the company with resources to accelerate its growth. We look forward to working with WebTrends’ experienced management team to enhance the company’s customer relationships, product capabilities, and strategic leadership.”

NetIQ’s board of directors has approved the agreement, and the transaction is expected to close in the quarter ending June 30, 2005. This transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Rich Ord is the CEO of iEntry, Inc. which publishes over 200 websites and email newsletters.

Rich also publishes his blog WebProBlog which focuses on internet business and marketing trends.