CommVault going it alone

Contact: Brenon Daly

Even though many of the storage companies that went public over the past half-decade have subsequently been erased from the market through M&A, don’t look for CommVault to join that list. At least that’s the official word from the top of the company. CEO Robert Hammer said during his presentation at ThinkEquity’s Annual Growth Conference last week that the odds of his company getting acquired are ‘diminimous.’

CommVault is often mentioned as a takeover target, with Dell generally being viewed as the most likely buyer. Dell is CommVault’s largest OEM partner, accounting for a bit more than 20% of the company’s overall revenue. Dell has already purchased a half-dozen storage vendors, including EqualLogic and, most recently, Compellent Technologies. And now that Dell has punted its relationship with EMC, building up its own storage portfolio is a key mandate. (As one of the largest stand-alone backup software providers, CommVault competes primarily with Symantec, but also bumps up against EMC and IBM, among others.)

CEO Hammer says that rather than join the M&A parade, he’s planning to build CommVault into an independent company with sales of $1bn and an operating margin of 25%. That implies CommVault tripling revenue and more than doubling the operating margin. (One of the main reasons why CommVault runs at a relatively low 11% operating margin is because it spends more than half of its revenue on sales and marketing.) Hammer declined to set a timeframe for when the 11-year-old firm would hit those targets.