Micro Focus soars on news of $375m Digital Safe sell-off


icro Focus saw shares surge by as much as 6% this morning on news the software giant plans to sell its archiving and risk management arm to US tech firm Smarsh for $375 million (£275 million).

The UK-listed company, which has 14,000 employees and offers software to the world’s biggest pharma and aerospace firms, said it has agreed definitive terms to sell its Digital Safe business – one it acquired as part of an ill-fated $8.8 billion deal with Hewlett Packard’s HPE in 2017.

Micro Focus CEO Stephen Murdoch, who has labelled that deal “problematic”, today said Digital Safe customers would be “better served for the long term” with Smarsh, which is innovating in the archiving and risk management space.

He said: “Micro Focus acquired the Digital Safe business in September 2017 as part of the HPE transaction.

“Since this date, we are proud of the progress made, with our focus on customer-centric innovation delivering significant improvements to the portfolio and enabling us to begin the transition to a cloud-first business model.”

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The sale is set to complete in early 2022.