Will Iron Mountain soon be sipping a Mimosa?

Contact: Brenon Daly, Kathleen Reidy, Simon Robinson

For what was once a fairly staid Old Economy business, Iron Mountain has done a better job than most companies in acclimating itself to the digital age. The records management vendor has accomplished that with eight acquisitions over the past half-decade, picking up technology for online backup and e-discovery, among other offerings. The $158m purchase of e-discovery provider Stratify stands, in many ways, as Iron Mountain’s marquee acquisition for its digital business. It has maintained the Stratify name and, last November, turned its whole digital subsidiary over to Ramana Venkata, the founder and former CEO of Stratify.

After that purchase in October 2007, Iron Mountain stayed out of the market for more than two years, despite many adjacent sectors that it could buy its way into. (And, from what we remember of the past two recession-wracked years, prices for startups weren’t particularly steep.) The M&A drought ended last month with the pickup of a San Francisco-based services company, Legal Imaging Technologies, that provides electronic document conversion. Terms weren’t disclosed.

But now we wonder if that small buy might be followed by a large deal. Several sources have indicated that Iron Mountain may be looking to snare a digital-archiving startup. It had relied on its partnership with MessageOne, but since that company’s acquisition by Dell, Iron Mountain has moved on, partnering with Mimecast last April. The partnership – combined with the fact that both businesses deliver their offerings through a subscription model – makes an acquisition of Mimecast by Iron Mountain a logical fit.

However, the market has been buzzing recently with another possible pairing for Iron Mountain – Mimosa Systems. Although Mimosa has talked in the past about going public this year, we have always thought that an acquisition of the company was more likely. (It has raised $50m in backing and, according to one source, was tracking to about $40m in bookings last year.) While Mimosa’s technology is highly regarded, the fact that it’s on-premises rather than on-demand would pose some integration challenges. However, it does have an emerging cloud story that would likely be of interest to Iron Mountain.