Aftermail sold to Quest for US$45 million

Wellington-based email archiving company hits the big time

Wellington-based enterprise email archiving provider Aftermail has been bought by listed US software company Quest Software for US$45 million.

Under the terms of the acquisition, which closed on January 4, Quest will pay approximately US$14.7 million up front plus a performance-based consideration of up to US$30 million over three years.

Aftermail will change its name to Quest New Zealand. It will also sell Quest’s application, database and infrastructure management solutions.

Aftermail chief executive Rod Drury says the transition will be completed this month.

“My role changes to international sales evangelist,” he says. “I will spend the next three weeks overseas working through all the Quest sales teams. Our development centre in Wellington will become more of a research and development centre.”

Drury says Aftermail went looking for a purchaser when it began running into objections from potential product buyers over recognition of a small company. “We needed brand and scale,” he says. “We looked at US venture capital money but that would have required building up an international team over time.

“We began talking to Quest at Microsoft TechEd in Florida last year. Other interested parties were keen to move our people elsewhere but Quest is expanding globally by regions. Our team here will really grow now.”

Aftermail’s shareholders were its five founders. The company has 130 customers in five countries.

Quest has more than 18,000 customers worldwide. It says the acquisition expands the email platforms supported by its archive solution from purely Microsoft Exchange to heterogeneous enterprises using Lotus Notes, Novell Groupwise, Sendmail and other SMTP-based systems.

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