By Max Clarke

Citrix Online, a division of Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTXS), has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Netviewer AG, a privately held European Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendor in collaboration and IT services. Netviewer AG will become part of the Citrix online services division, Citrix Online, and the acquisition will enable the extension of its SaaS leadership in Europe. The transaction is expected to close in early 2011, subject to the satisfaction of closing conditions.

Citrix Online is expanding globally and this acquisition will accelerate its growth in Europe by combining two complementary market leaders with a shared vision for virtual workstyles, innovation and delivering an excellent customer experience. This vision is central to Citrix’s virtual computing strategy. Netviewer has customers in many countries throughout Europe, including the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Benelux, the Nordics, Italy and Spain.

“SaaS based collaboration and IT Services have been key to our growth story. We believe there is even more opportunity ahead as the global market matures and customers look for a strong, experienced partner,” said Brett Caine, Senior Vice President, Online Services Division, Citrix Systems, Inc. “With the acquisition of a company that shares our vision, we will continue to execute on our strategy for global expansion and accelerated growth by delivering products that offer a simpler, better experience to enable customers to succeed.”

Market research and local operating experience indicate continued rapidly growing demand for collaboration and IT services in Europe. Macro-economic trends such as globalization, distributed teams, and environmental concerns are driving the need for more virtual communications and work styles throughout the European region. Citrix Online is at the forefront of driving these transitions with its customers. This acquisition will enable Citrix Online to expand its presence more quickly in Europe just as demand surges.

Netviewer has built an installed base of more than 18,000 customers, from global blue chip companies to small- and medium-sized enterprises as a result of a dedicated focus on providing an excellent customer experience. Its product strategy and approach to customer success is similar to Citrix Online’s “simpler is better,” customer-centric products and services.

Robert Gratzl, Netviewer’s board spokesperson, added: “In Citrix Online, we found a partner with a similar market philosophy, good cultural alignment and the drive, passion and resources to leverage the accelerating growth opportunities across Europe. Our customers will benefit enormously from our combined resources through greater innovation and faster time to market.”

Upon the closing of the acquisition, Mr. Gratzl will be appointed as the Vice President and General Manager for Citrix Online in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). Netviewer’s Karlsruhe office will remain an important center for Citrix Online’s operations in the region.