Adobe Is in Talks to Acquire Workfront for $1.5 Billion

Adobe Inc. is in advanced discussions to acquire privately held software maker Workfront Inc. for about $1.5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

Adobe could announce a deal for Workfront as soon as Monday, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. A deal hasn’t been finalized and the talks could still fall apart.

A representative for Adobe declined to comment. A spokesperson for Workfront couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Workfront, based in Lehi, Utah, makes software that lets workers collaborate and manage projects. It has an existing partnership with Adobe, which integrates its products and tools together, its website showed.

Adobe, based in San Jose, California, has been a leading player in the graphics and visual software space for decades but hasn’t had its own collaboration tools. Its shares, which have climbed 46% this year, were trading at $479.79 Monday, giving it a market value of $230 billion.

Workfront would be Adobe’s fifth-biggest acquisition, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Adobe, has been developing new apps and features, especially for phones and tablets as it tries to expand its user base beyond computer desktops. The Workfront acquisition would allow it to compete with other productivity software makers including Asana Inc. and Atlassian Inc., which owns Trello.

Workfront has raised about $100 million to date, according to PitchBook. Last year, W Capital Partners, Susquehanna Growth Equity and AllianceBernstein’s AB Private Credit Investors acquired a minority stake in the company after buying out some of its investors for $280 million. It’s also backed by OpenView, Greenspring Associates and JMI Equity.

Workfront, formerly known as AtTask, was founded in 2001 by Scott Johnson, who is now its chairman. The company said last year that it had generated $200 million in revenue in 2018.

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