Atlassian, a company that sells collaboration tools to large enterprises, today announced a sale of $150 million worth of its shares by former and current employees. The sale of equity is designed to provide liquidity to current shareholders.
T. Rowe Price is heading the deal, which will, according to Atlassian, be paid for by “funds and accounts” managed by the financial firm. Atlassian is valued at $3.3 billion in the deal, meaning that less than 5 percent of its total value is being exchanged.
TechCrunch reported late last year that in Atlassian’s 2013 fiscal year, it had revenue of $150 million. In an email to TechCrunch, the company stated that it now has a “current run rate exceeding $200 million in annual revenues.” So it’s still growing. In its fiscal 2012, Atlassian had revenue of $110 million.
The company likes to state that it has been cash-flow positive for a decade.
Why this sale, and why now? Given its numbers, it appears that Atlassian could go public at its whim, but it doesn’t to want to. However, employees that have long held its stock — the company was founded in 2002 — likely would appreciate a little liquidity. Keep in mind that the vast majority of Atlassian stock will remain illiquid for the foreseeable future.
But you have to let some shares trade hands if you’re as big as Atlassian. So a structured secondary is a reasonable choice for the firm.