EX-99.1 2 n-ablexform10xexhibit991.htm EX-99.1 Document
Exhibit 99.1

Information contained herein is subject to completion or amendment. A registration statement on Form 10 relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, but has not yet become effective.
Subject to Completion—Dated March 26, 2021     
INFORMATION STATEMENT
N-able, Inc.
Common Stock
(par value $0.001 per share)
We are sending you this information statement in connection with the separation and distribution by SolarWinds Corporation (“SolarWinds”) of its wholly-owned subsidiary, N-able, Inc. (“N-able”). To effect the separation and distribution, SolarWinds will distribute at least       % of the shares of N-able common stock on a pro rata basis to the holders of SolarWinds common stock. We expect that the distribution of N-able common stock will be tax-free to holders of SolarWinds common stock for U.S. federal income tax purposes, except with respect to cash that stockholders may receive (if any) in lieu of fractional shares.
If you are a record holder of SolarWinds common stock as of the close of business on           , 2021, which is the record date for the distribution, you will be entitled to receive           shares of N-able common stock for every          shares of SolarWinds common stock that you hold on that date. SolarWinds will distribute its shares of N‑able common stock in book-entry form, which means that we will not issue physical stock certificates. The transfer and distribution agent will not distribute any fractional shares of N-able common stock.
The distribution will be effective as of          , New York City time, on          , 2021. Immediately after the distribution becomes effective, N-able will be a separate publicly traded company.
SolarWinds’ stockholders are not required to vote on or take any other action to approve the separation and distribution. We are not asking you for a proxy and request that you do not send us a proxy. SolarWinds stockholders will not be required to pay any consideration for the shares of N-able common stock they receive in the distribution, and they will not be required to surrender or exchange their shares of SolarWinds common stock or take any other action in connection with the separation and distribution.
N-able was formed as a Delaware limited liability company on November 30, 2020. Prior to the distribution, N‑able will be converted from a limited liability company to a Delaware corporation. SolarWinds currently owns all of the outstanding equity of N-able.
No trading market for N-able common stock currently exists. We expect, however, that a limited trading market for N-able common stock, commonly known as a “when-issued” trading market, will develop as early as one trading day prior to the record date for the distribution, and we expect “regular-way” trading of N-able common stock will begin on the first trading day after the distribution date. We intend to apply to list N-able common stock on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the ticker symbol “NABL.” The listing is subject to approval of our application.
Following the separation and distribution, N-able will qualify as an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, and, as such, is allowed to provide in this information statement more limited disclosures than an issuer that would not so qualify. In addition, for so long as N-able remains an emerging growth company, it may take advantage, for a period of time, of certain exceptions from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010.
In reviewing this information statement, you should carefully consider the matters described under the caption “Risk Factors” beginning on page 21.
Neither the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved these securities or determined if this information statement is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
This information statement does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities.
The date of this information statement is          2021.
This information statement was first made available to SolarWinds stockholders on or about          2021.


Table of Contents
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Summary
This summary highlights selected information that is presented in greater detail elsewhere in this information statement. This summary is included for convenience only and should not be considered complete. This summary is qualified in its entirety by more detailed information contained elsewhere in this information statement, which should be read in its entirety.
As used in this information statement, the terms “N-able,” the “Company,” “we,” “us” and “our,” depending on the context, refer to N-able, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries after giving effect to the separation and distribution described under “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions— Relationship with SolarWinds.” As used in this information statement, references to “SolarWinds” or “Parent” refer to SolarWinds Corporation.
We describe in this information statement the business that will be contributed to us by SolarWinds as part of our separation from SolarWinds, which we refer to as the N-able business, as if it was our business for all historical periods described. Our historical financial results as part of SolarWinds contained in this information statement may not reflect our financial results in the future as a stand-alone company or what our financial results would have been had we been a stand-alone company during the periods presented.
The term “Silver Lake Funds” refers to Silver Lake Partners IV, L.P., Silver Lake Technology Investors IV, L.P., and SLP Aurora Co-Invest, L.P., and the term “Silver Lake” refers to Silver Lake Group, L.L.C., the ultimate general partner of the Silver Lake Funds. The term “Thoma Bravo Funds” refers to Thoma Bravo Fund XI, L.P., Thoma Bravo Fund XI-A, L.P., Thoma Bravo Fund XII, L.P., Thoma Bravo Fund XII-A, L.P., Thoma Bravo Executive Fund XI, L.P., Thoma Bravo Executive Fund XII, L.P., Thoma Bravo Executive Fund XII-a, L.P., Thoma Bravo Special Opportunities Fund II, L.P. and Thoma Bravo Special Opportunities Fund II-A, L.P., and the term “Thoma Bravo” refers to Thoma Bravo, L.P., the ultimate general partner of the Thoma Bravo Funds. The term “Sponsors” refers collectively to Silver Lake and Thoma Bravo, together with the Silver Lake Funds and the Thoma Bravo Funds and, as applicable, their co-investors. The term “Lead Sponsors” refers collectively to the Silver Lake Funds, the Thoma Bravo Funds and their respective affiliates.
Our Business
We are a leading global provider of cloud-based software solutions for managed service providers, or MSPs, enabling them to support digital transformation and growth within small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, which we define as those enterprises having less than 1,000 employees. We partner with over 25,000 IT service providers, which we refer to as our MSP partners, empowering them to deliver best-in-class managed services in a scalable and repeatable way. These MSP partners rely on our platform to deploy, manage and secure the IT environments of over 500,000 SMEs around the world. Through our multi-dimensional land and expand model and global presence, we are able to drive strong recurring revenue growth, profitability and retention.
Organizations of all sizes are deploying technology to transform their businesses and compete effectively. As SMEs go through digital transformation, their reliance on technology as a competitive differentiator increases. IT environments are becoming increasingly complex, with the number of applications and endpoints proliferating while also becoming more interconnected, causing the sophistication and overhead required to deploy, manage and secure these assets to grow.
Many SMEs lack the resources or internal expertise to effectively manage their IT assets and adapt to the changing environment. This lack of resources and expertise coupled with the desire to better leverage technology in their businesses has created a growing need for SMEs to rely on MSPs for their IT deployment, management and security. MSPs become vital partners as more SMEs seek to implement technology solutions that help drive strategic business outcomes.
To effectively manage the operability and security of distributed and heterogeneous IT environments, MSPs require visibility and control over a variety of architectures, applications and connected endpoints. MSPs must also keep pace with rapid technological innovation or risk obsolescence. These challenges are made more difficult when
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the solutions upon which MSPs rely lack integration capabilities or otherwise fail to meet the technological and business needs of the MSPs and their customers.
We enable IT service providers of all types to act as MSPs by providing a platform that they can leverage to help SMEs access powerful and seamless technology to power their businesses. Our software platform is designed to be an integrated, enterprise-grade solution that serves as an operating system for our MSP partners and scales as their businesses grow. Built on a multi-tenant architecture, our platform allows our MSP partners to adapt to their customers’ requirements and improve service delivery by offering centralized visibility and role-based access control in both public and private cloud, on-premises and hybrid cloud environments.
Our platform consists of three core solution categories: remote monitoring and management, security and data protection and business management. Our broad remote monitoring and management capabilities include real-time availability and performance of networks and devices and automation of policies and workflows. We provide a layered protection approach spanning network and systems infrastructure, applications, and end user devices through our data protection, patch management, endpoint security, web protection, e-mail security and archiving and vulnerability assessment solutions. Our fully cloud-based data protection capabilities include storage efficient backup, high-speed restoration and disaster recovery for servers, workstations, files, data and key cloud-based applications. In addition, our business management solutions help improve the technical and service delivery efficiencies of our MSP partners and include professional services automation and password and documentation management.
We have a multi-dimensional land and expand model and global presence that allow us to capture opportunities efficiently within the worldwide MSP and SME markets. When we add an MSP partner, we also add their SME customers and we grow as the partner adds new customers, delivers new services based on our solutions and when the partner’s customers add devices and services. We support our MSP partners by offering partner success initiatives designed to help them better manage their own businesses, deliver service offerings powered by our platform and grow their customer bases. Our partner success initiatives help drive both retention and expansion as our MSP partners are provided with resources designed to help them better understand and pursue growth opportunities.
Our business model allows us to grow with our MSP partners. MSP partners with annualized recurring revenue, or ARR, over $50,000 on our platform grew from 833 as of December 31, 2018 to 1,117 as of December 31, 2019 to 1,473 as of December 31, 2020, representing increases of 34% and 32%, respectively. Over the same periods, MSP partners with over $50,000 of ARR on our platform grew from approximately 30% of our total ARR as of December 31, 2018, to 36% of our total ARR as of December 31, 2019, to 42% of our total ARR as of December 31, 2020.
Our business is global, with 47% of our revenue generated outside of North America for each of the years ended December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2020. We generated revenue of $302.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $263.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2019, and $228.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2018, representing an increase of 15.4% from the year ended December 31, 2018 to the year ended December 31, 2019, and an increase of 14.9% from the year ended December 31, 2019 to the year ended December 31, 2020. For the year ended December 31, 2020, our net loss was $7.2 million. For the year ended December 31, 2020, our adjusted EBITDA was $120.6 million. See “Selected Combined Financial Data—Adjusted EBITDA” for additional information regarding adjusted EBITDA.
Industry Background
Companies of all sizes across sectors and geographies continue to invest in modern cloud and digital technology to transform their organizations and compete effectively. Technology is becoming increasingly mission critical as SMEs use digital means to improve productivity, work remotely, manage and monitor their businesses, run operations and engage with customers and other key stakeholders. As evidence of the importance of technology to SMEs, IT spending by businesses with less than 1,000 employees is expected to increase from $628 billion in 2020 to $860 billion by 2024 according to Gartner, Inc, or Gartner.
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Digital transformation creates challenges and complexities
As SMEs increase their investment in and reliance on these technologies, the importance of IT availability and functionality to their businesses grows. Many SMEs lack the financial resources, headcount and expertise needed to independently manage the complexity associated with digital transformation and therefore rely on MSPs that specialize in providing SMEs with reliable and scalable services to deploy, manage and secure their IT environments. Challenges associated with digital transformation for SMEs include:
1)IT management and security are not core competencies for most companies.
Deploying, managing and securing complex and constantly evolving IT systems are not core competencies of most SMEs and can divert focus, capital and other critical resources away from fundamental business objectives.
2)Companies face growing cyber-threats.
According to the Ponemon Institute 2019 Global State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium-Sized Businesses survey, 66% of respondents said their organization experienced a cyberattack in the past 12 months. Protecting networks, applications, devices, data and users from cybercrime, such as ransomware, phishing and other costly attacks is paramount for SMEs.
3)IT and other compliance costs and burdens are increasing.
SMEs are not exempt from compliance obligations and can be disproportionately burdened due to limited resources and expertise.
4)Proliferation of connected endpoints is driving increased complexity.
According to a 2020 Cisco white paper, the number of global networked devices is set to reach 29.3 billion by 2023, up from 18.4 billion in 2018, representing a compound annual growth rate of 10% over the period. Due to the growing number of networked, highly distributed and diverse endpoints, the burden faced by SMEs to manage, provision and secure these endpoints across cloud, on-premises and hybrid cloud infrastructures is becoming increasingly complex.
5)Expectations for always-on, always-available IT environments compound pressures.
Customers, employees and other stakeholders increasingly expect always-on, always-available access to digital resources. Establishing and maintaining connectivity and availability is critical to the success of many SMEs, who must ensure that their employees and distributed workforces have access to required systems, applications and devices and that their customers can obtain information and conduct business online at any time.
Rise of the Managed IT Services Model
As SMEs invest in technology and their needs for continuous availability, performance and security grow, they are increasingly relying on IT service providers to manage these aspects of their businesses. These MSPs support SMEs by helping them procure and deploy key technologies and by providing oversight, management and security of their IT systems and devices. MSPs also may work in collaboration with SMEs’ internal IT departments in a co-managed model to deliver specific expertise and share responsibilities.
We see a growing number of IT service providers, such as value-added resellers, systems integrators, IT consultants and data center operators, adopting a managed services model as demand for these services increases. These new MSPs can benefit from a software platform that supports the managed services model and meets the wide-ranging needs of their SME customers.
Market Opportunity
Our cloud-based software solutions enable MSPs to support their SME customers’ growth and digital transformation. These MSP partners rely on our platform to deploy, manage and secure the IT environments of over 500,000 SMEs around the world. Technology is becoming increasingly mission critical for SMEs as a means to improve productivity, work remotely, manage, and monitor their businesses, run operations and engage with
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customers and other key stakeholders. In a report published on October 26, 2020, Gartner estimated that IT spending by SMEs with less than 1,000 employees is expected to increase from $628 billion in 2020 to $860 billion by 2024, representing an 8.2% compound annual growth rate.
We commissioned Frost & Sullivan to conduct an independent analysis to assess the global addressable market for our remote monitoring and management, security and data protection and business management solutions. To determine our addressable market, Frost & Sullivan calculated the sum of: 1) the estimate of MSP’s average revenue per SME customer for remote monitoring, security and data protection solutions multiplied by their estimate of the total number of SMEs serviced by MSPs; and 2) the estimate of the average cost for business management solutions used by MSPs multiplied by the estimate of the total number of addressable MSPs.
According to this analysis, the global market opportunity for our solutions was estimated to be approximately $23.3 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 13.5% to approximately $43.9 billion by 2025. We believe that the size and projected growth of the global market for our solutions represents a significant opportunity for our business.
Limitations of Existing Approaches Used by MSPs
MSPs are better able to serve their customers and manage disparate, heterogeneous IT environments with technologies that are centralized, effective, easy to deploy, scalable and able to integrate with other solutions.
Many existing approaches utilized by MSPs face limitations, such as:
1)Not purpose-built for MSPs. Many tools are not designed to power a managed services model, as they fail to enable MSPs to deliver services in a scalable and efficient manner. These tools can lead to issues around deployment, configurability or scalability.
2)Narrow point solutions and tools with limited flexibility and integrations. Many MSP-oriented offerings fail to provide a comprehensive set of solutions on a common platform. Many of these solutions and tools have narrow functionality and are not designed to integrate with other technologies. This can lead to a lack of interoperability that prevents MSPs from having a unified view of their customers’ IT environments.
3)Lacking enterprise-grade features and functionality. Many approaches targeting the MSP and SME markets offer limited functionality or lack the features and capabilities needed by businesses of all sizes to be competitive in the digital world.
4)Not partner success oriented. Providers of alternative approaches can lack MSP-oriented domain expertise and partner success functions designed to help MSPs grow their businesses.
5)Pricing and deployment limitations. Many tools lack flexible pricing models and deployment options that are aligned with the way MSPs sell and deliver their services.
6)Manual and inefficient. Alternative approaches can lack automation, requiring MSPs to manually address issues that they or their customers face. This need for manual intervention can drive higher headcount costs and cause slower resolution times.
Our Solution
We are a leading global provider of cloud-based software solutions for MSPs, enabling them to support digital transformation and growth within SMEs. We partner with over 25,000 MSP partners, empowering them to deliver best-in-class managed services in a scalable and repeatable way. These MSP partners rely on our platform to deploy, manage and secure the IT environments of over 500,000 SMEs around the world. Our platform consists of three core solution categories: remote monitoring and management, security and data protection and business management. Through our multi-dimensional land and expand model and global presence, we are able to drive strong recurring revenue growth, profitability and retention.
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Our software platform is purpose-built to give MSPs visibility and control over distributed and heterogeneous IT environments through a centralized control panel. Built using multi-tenant architecture, a unified agent management system and microservices, our platform is designed to securely deliver integrated solutions that fit the specific IT needs of each MSP partner and its SME customers. Our modular and highly scalable platform helps our MSP partners deploy, manage and secure IT assets in an efficient and organized manner.
Through our platform, we aim to deliver value and flexibility to our MSP partners and their customers. We offer our MSP partners multiple deployment options and price the solutions on our platform on a subscription basis. The ecosystem framework within our platform, or our Ecosystem Framework, enables and simplifies integrations with numerous third-party solutions from leading enterprise technology vendors. By working across cloud, on-premises and hybrid cloud infrastructures, our platform enables a delivery model that accommodates the IT environment preferences and needs of our MSP partners and their customers.
Key Strengths of our Platform
The key strengths of our platform and related offerings include:
1)Deep remote monitoring and management capabilities. Our leading remote monitoring and management capabilities provide our MSP partners with visibility and insights into the availability and performance of a wide range of systems and network infrastructure and devices, all through a centralized dashboard. Through our role-based access control, MSP technicians can easily troubleshoot specific IT systems, devices and applications, as well as easily load new service offerings powered by our platform.
2)Layered security approach to cyber-threats and compliance risks. Our MSP partners use our integrated solutions to improve the security framework of their SME customers’ IT environments while helping them meet regulatory and industry-specific compliance standards. Our security and data protection solutions are designed to defend against cyber-threats targeted at the network, infrastructure, application and endpoint layers and the sensitive data that resides in and travels through each of these layers.
3)Designed for hybrid IT environments. The solutions on our platform are designed to meet the needs of our MSP partners and their SME customers across cloud, on-premises and hybrid-cloud IT infrastructures.
4)Out-of-the-box automation for higher service efficacy and capacity. Our platform, which includes professional services automation and easily configurable automation capabilities, enables our MSP partners to more efficiently deliver services to their SME customers, manage their businesses and increase capacity for growth.
5)Robust reporting and analytics. Our reporting and analytics dashboard provides our MSP partners with a consolidated view of data and analytic outputs of their SME customers’ IT environments and a unified view of key metrics and trends.
Why We Win
Our platform, partner success initiatives and business model are rooted in our experience and understanding of the needs of our MSP partners and their SME customers and are designed to help our partners succeed and grow. Our MSP partners power their service offerings with our platform, making us an integral part of their ability to land, expand and retain their customers. Some of the key factors that differentiate us from our competitors include:
1)Purpose-built platform designed for MSP success. Our platform allows our MSP partners to build and grow their businesses around our customizable solutions. Ongoing expansion of native functionalities and integrations, powerful and easy-to-create automation policies and always-available training and enablement resources are all designed to facilitate our MSP partners’ success.
2)Comprehensive and extensible platform designed for integrations. Our platform features out-of-the-box integrations with third-party technologies and solutions from leading enterprise technology vendors. Our
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Ecosystem Framework enables us to rapidly develop and deploy extensive integrations through our strategic technology partnerships.
3)Enterprise-grade technology for SMEs through our MSP partners. Through our platform and strategic technology partnerships, we make it possible for our MSP partners to deploy, manage and secure enterprise-grade technologies for their SME customers.
4)Best-in-class partner success initiatives. We provide various partner success initiatives aimed to help our MSP partners expand their customer bases and service offerings through our platform and to grow and operate their businesses more effectively. Our dedicated partner success teams assist with onboarding, post-sales engineering and partner management.
5)Flexible subscription pricing and billing model. We sell the solutions on our platform on a subscription basis that meets the specific needs of our MSP partners and expands as they add new customers, deliver new services based on our solutions and when the partner’s customers add devices and services. We offer our MSP partners the flexibility to purchase solutions with pricing based on committed volumes or on a “pay-as-you-go” model, where our partners pay based on the volume of our solutions they and their customers consume.
6)Efficient deployment and scale. Our platform is designed to be quickly configured and deployed by our MSP partners and enable efficient delivery of services to their customers. The automation in our platform is also designed to help our MSP partners scale their customer base with fewer technical support personnel.
Our Differentiated Go-to-Market Approach
Our go-to-market approach is grounded in a differentiated, multi-dimensional land and expand model that has allowed us to build a global base of over 25,000 MSP partners that serve more than 500,000 SME customers. Our business model and alignment with our MSP partners gives us the leverage and sales reach to efficiently and effectively serve the SME market. We grow with our MSP partners as they expand their customer bases, deliver new services powered by our solutions and when their customers add devices and services. Our partner success initiatives further enhance our model’s efficiency by empowering our MSP partners to grow their businesses and expand their customer bases and consumption of solutions on our platform.
To add new MSP partners, we employ an efficient low-touch, high-velocity “selling from the inside” motion cultivated while a part of SolarWinds. Our sales motion is rooted in selling online or over the phone to MSPs of all sizes across any location through a prescriptive approach that adheres to standardized pricing and agreements. We power this sales motion with a marketing model that is highly flexible, analytics-driven and designed to efficiently drive digital traffic and high-quality opportunities. Our low-friction sales motion and marketing model also allow prospective MSP partners to trial fully-functional versions of the solutions on our platform, which is frequently a step to broader adoption. Internationally, we augment our go-to-market approach with a targeted and localized distributor model.
We believe our differentiated go-to-market approach benefits our business for a number of reasons, including:
1)Sales reach extension. Our MSP partners effectively extend our sales reach into the worldwide SME market. When we add a new MSP partner, we also acquire its customers and continue to benefit as the MSP partner expands its customer base.
2)Sales expansion through natural adoption. MSP partners expand usage of our offerings over time when they add new customers and when their customers add new devices and services. As digital transformation trends continue to impact SMEs, our platform facilitates the delivery of new and enhanced services by our MSP partners to their customers.
3)Capital efficient scaling. We gain significant operating leverage through our MSP partners’ customer acquisition efforts and the support and overhead they provide to service their customers.
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4)Loyalty and retention. Our best-in-class partner success initiatives drive loyalty and retention by providing our MSP partners with resources designed to help them better understand and pursue growth opportunities using our platform.
5)Strong international presence. Our extensive international distributor network and localized go-to-market approach has enabled and enhanced our robust global presence.
Growth Strategy
We believe there are significant growth opportunities in our market, and we intend to focus our investments to capitalize on these opportunities and accelerate revenue growth. We believe that our growth will come from the following vectors:
1)Expand our MSP partner footprint. Our partner acquisition model is driven by us adding new MSP partners that develop and deliver services powered by our platform to their SME customers. We intend to continue investing in our MSP partner model that has allowed us to acquire a global base of over 25,000 MSP partners that serve more than 500,000 SME customers around the world.
2)Facilitate partner-enabled expansion. When we add an MSP partner, we expand our relationship with the partner through two vectors. We grow when our MSP partners expand their SME customer base. We also grow when our MSP partners deliver new or enhanced services to their customers based on our solutions and when their customers add devices and services. As digital transformation initiatives at SMEs are pushing them to modernize their IT systems, we are seeing tailwinds in the adoption and usage of our solutions by SME customers through our MSP partners. Our ability to expand within our partner base is demonstrated by our dollar-based net revenue retention rate which was 109%, 108% and 108% as of December 31, 2020, December 31, 2019, and December 31, 2018, respectively.
3)Widen our surface area. We also grow by expanding the aperture of networks, devices, services and users that we manage and secure on our platform. This surface area expansion is driven by internal development, strategic technology partnerships with large enterprise technology vendors and integrations with other MSP technology providers.
4)Drive innovation. We intend to continue introducing new enterprise-grade solutions on our platform. These new solutions may come from internal innovation, strategic technology partnerships or targeted acquisitions.
5)Broaden our co-managed IT footprint. In addition to providing services for SMEs, some MSP partners service larger enterprises through a co-managed IT model, sharing responsibility for IT management and services with an internal IT team. We believe that increased adoption of co-managed IT models will continue to be a meaningful driver of market expansion.
6)Deliver globally. We are a global software company, generating approximately 47% of our total revenue from outside of North America in each of the years ended December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2020. We intend to target markets around the world where we have an established presence and distribution channels and further expand to new markets through channel and personnel growth and market-specific solutions.
Risks Factors Summary
Our business is subject to a number of risks that you should understand in evaluating N-able and N-able common stock. These risks are discussed more fully in “Risk Factors” following this summary. Some of these risks are:
Our quarterly revenue and operating results may fluctuate in the future because of a number of factors, which makes our future results difficult to predict or could cause our operating results or the guidance we provide in the future to fall below expectations.
The global COVID-19 pandemic may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
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If we are unable to sell subscriptions to new MSP partners, to sell additional solutions to our existing MSP partners or to increase the usage of our solutions by our existing MSP partners, it could adversely affect our revenue growth and operating results.
Our business depends on MSP partners renewing their subscription agreements. If our subscription-based business model fails to yield the benefits that we expect, our results of operations could be negatively impacted.
We operate in highly competitive markets, which could make it difficult for us to acquire and retain MSP partners at our historic rates.
Our success depends on our ability to adapt to the rapidly changing needs of MSP partners and their SME customers.
If we fail to integrate our solutions with a variety of operating systems, software applications, platforms and hardware that are developed by others or ourselves, our solutions may become less competitive or obsolete and our results of operations would be harmed.
We may not be able to achieve or sustain the same level of cash flows in the future.
Because our long-term success depends on our ability to operate our business internationally and increase sales of our solutions to our MSP partners located outside of the United States, our business is susceptible to risks associated with international operations.
Our solutions use third-party software that may be difficult to replace or cause errors or failures of our solutions that could lead to a loss of MSP partners or harm to our reputation and our operating results.
Cyberattacks, including the cyberattack on SolarWinds’ Orion Software Platform and internal systems announced by SolarWinds on December 14, 2020, or the Cyber Incident, and other security incidents have resulted, and in the future may result, in compromises or breaches of our, our MSP partners’, or their SME customers’ systems, the insertion of malicious code, malware, ransomware or other vulnerabilities into our, our MSP partners’, or their SME customers’ environments, the exploitation of vulnerabilities in our, our MSP partners’, or their SME customers’ security, the theft or misappropriation of our, our MSP partners’, or their SME customers’ proprietary and confidential information, and interference with our, our MSP partners’, or their SME customers’ operations, expose us to legal and other liabilities, result in higher MSP partner and employee attrition and the loss of key personnel, negatively impact our sales, renewals and upgrades and expose us to reputational harm and other serious negative consequences, any or all of which could materially harm our business.
The Cyber Incident has had and may continue to have an adverse effect on our business, reputation, MSP partner and employee relations, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
The success of our business depends on our ability to obtain, maintain, protect and enforce our intellectual property rights.
Acquisitions present many risks that could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
The separation and the distribution is subject to numerous risks and may not be successful.
If the distribution, together with certain related transactions, does not qualify as a transaction that is generally tax-free for U.S. federal income tax purposes, SolarWinds, N-able and SolarWinds stockholders could be subject to significant tax liabilities, and, in certain circumstances, we could be required to indemnify SolarWinds for material taxes and other related amounts pursuant to indemnification obligations under the tax matters agreement.
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We have no operating history as a stand-alone public company, and our historical and pro forma financial information is not necessarily representative of the results we would have achieved as a stand-alone public company and may not be a reliable indicator of our future results.
After the separation and distribution, we will have our first senior management team since being spun off from SolarWinds. If we encounter difficulties in the transition, our business could be negatively impacted.
The assets and resources that we acquire from SolarWinds in the separation may not be sufficient for us to operate as a stand-alone company, and we may experience difficulty in separating our assets and resources from SolarWinds.
After the distribution, the Lead Sponsors will have a controlling influence over matters requiring stockholder approval.
The Sponsors and their affiliated funds may pursue corporate opportunities independent of us that could present conflicts with our and our stockholders’ interests.
The Sponsors and Our Controlled Company Status
SolarWinds, our parent company, is a “controlled company” within the meaning of the corporate governance standards of The New York Stock Exchange. As of December 31, 2020, the Sponsors owned approximately 78.2% of the common stock of SolarWinds and therefore are able to control all matters that require approval by the stockholders of SolarWinds, including the election and removal of directors, changes to SolarWinds’ organizational documents and approval of acquisition offers and other significant corporate transactions, including the separation and distribution.
Because the Sponsors will initially own                shares, or      % of voting power, of our common stock immediately following the completion of the separation and distribution, we will be a controlled company following the completion of the distribution within the meaning of the corporate governance standards of the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”).
Because we will be a controlled company, a majority of our board of directors is not required to be independent, and our board of directors is not required to form independent compensation and nominating and corporate governance committees. As a controlled company, we will remain subject to corporate governance standards of the NYSE that require us to have an audit committee composed entirely of independent directors. Under these rules, we must have at least one independent director on our audit committee by the date our common stock is listed on the NYSE, at least two independent directors on our audit committee within 90 days of the effective date of the registration statement of which this information statement is a part, and at least three independent directors on our audit committee within one year of the effective date of the registration statement of which this information statement is a part.
If at any time we cease to be a controlled company, we will take all action necessary to comply with the corporate governance standards of the NYSE, including by appointing a majority of independent directors to our board of directors and ensuring we have a compensation committee and a nominating and corporate governance committee, each composed entirely of independent directors, subject to any permitted “phase-in” periods. See “Management—Status As a Controlled Company.
Silver Lake is a global technology investment firm, with more than $60 billion in combined assets under management and committed capital and a team of investment and operating professionals based in Menlo Park, New York, London, Hong Kong, Cupertino and San Francisco.
Thoma Bravo is a leading investment firm building on a more than 40-year history of providing capital and strategic support to experienced management teams and growing companies. Thoma Bravo has invested in many fragmented, consolidating industry sectors in the past, but has become known particularly for its history of investments in the application, infrastructure and security software and technology-enabled services sectors, which
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have been its investment focus for more than 20 years. Thoma Bravo manages a series of investment funds representing more than $50 billion of capital commitments.
The Sponsors’ interests may not coincide with the interests of our other stockholders. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to the Ownership of Our Common Stock— After the distribution, the Lead Sponsors will have a controlling influence over matters requiring stockholder approval.” Additionally, each of our Sponsors is in the business of making investments in companies and may, from time to time, acquire and hold interests in businesses that compete directly or indirectly with us. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to the Ownership of Our Common Stock— The Sponsors and their affiliated funds may pursue corporate opportunities independent of us that could present conflicts with our and our stockholders’ interests” and “Description of Capital Stock—Anti-Takeover Provisions Under Our Charter and Bylaws and Delaware Law—Corporate Opportunity.
Emerging Growth Company
The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or the JOBS Act, was enacted in April 2012 with the intention of encouraging capital formation in the United States and reducing the regulatory burden on newly public companies that qualify as emerging growth companies. We qualify as an emerging growth company within the meaning of the JOBS Act. As an emerging growth company, we intend to take advantage of certain exemptions from various public reporting requirements, including that our internal controls over financial reporting be audited by our independent registered public accounting firm pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, that we provide certain disclosures regarding executive compensation and that we hold non-binding stockholder advisory votes on executive compensation and any golden parachute payments not previously approved. We expect to take advantage of these exemptions until we are no longer an emerging growth company.
In addition, under the JOBS Act, emerging growth companies can delay adopting new or revised accounting standards until such time as those standards apply to private companies. We intend to take advantage of the longer phase-in periods for the adoption of new or revised financial accounting standards under the JOBS Act until we are no longer an emerging growth company. Our election to use the phase-in periods permitted by this election may make it difficult to compare our financial statements to those of non-emerging growth companies and other emerging growth companies that have opted out of the longer phase-in periods permitted under the JOBS Act and who will comply with new or revised financial accounting standards. If we were to subsequently elect instead to comply with public company effective dates, such election would be irrevocable pursuant to the JOBS Act.
We will remain an emerging growth company until the earliest to occur of (i) the last day of the fiscal year in which we have more than $1.07 billion in annual revenue; (ii) the date on which we become a “large accelerated filer” (the fiscal year-end on which at least $700.0 million of equity securities are held by non-affiliates as of the last day of our then most recently completed second fiscal quarter); (iii) the date on which we have issued, in any three-year period, more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt securities; and (iv) the last day of the fiscal year ending after the fifth anniversary of the completion of the distribution.
See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock—For as long as we are an emerging growth company, we will not be required to comply with certain requirements that apply to other public companies” for certain risks related to our status as an emerging growth company.
Corporate Information
N-able was formed as a Delaware limited liability company on November 30, 2020 in connection with our planned separation from SolarWinds. Prior to the distribution, N-able will be converted from a limited liability company to a Delaware corporation. Our principal executive offices are located at 301 Edgewater Dr., Suite 306, Wakefield, Massachusetts 01880 and our telephone number is            . Our website address is www.n-able.com. The information contained in, or that can be accessed through, our website is not part of this information statement.
N-ABLE and N-CENTRAL are trademarks and are the exclusive property of N-able or its affiliates, are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be registered or pending registration in other countries. All other N‑able trademarks, service marks, and logos may be common law marks or are registered or
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pending registration. Trade names, trademarks and service marks of other companies appearing in this information statement are the property of their respective holders.
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Summary Historical Combined Financial Data
The following tables summarize our historical combined financial data. The selected historical combined balance sheet data as of December 31, 2020 and 2019 and combined statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018 are derived from our audited combined financial statements included elsewhere in this information statement. The historical results set forth below may not be indicative of N-able’s future performance as a stand-alone company following the separation and distribution. The selected historical combined financial data in this section is not intended to replace our combined financial statements and the related notes and should be read in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” “Unaudited Pro Forma Combined Financial Statements,” and the combined financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this information statement.
Combined Statement of Operations Data:
Year Ended December 31,
202020192018
(in thousands)
Revenue$302,871 $263,518 $228,294 
Cost of revenue
38,916 33,253 30,920 
Amortization of acquired technologies24,257 24,067 26,428 
Gross profit239,698 206,198 170,946 
Operating expenses:
Sales and marketing
82,034 70,254 62,278 
Research and development
42,719 37,172 32,892 
General and administrative
57,331 38,971 33,286 
Amortization of acquired intangibles23,848 23,189 23,716 
Total operating expenses205,932 169,586 152,172 
Operating income33,766 36,612 18,774 
Other expense, net(28,910)(33,419)(36,265)
Income (loss) before provision for income taxes4,856 3,193 (17,491)
Income tax expense (benefit)12,014 5,705 (3,799)
Net loss$(7,158)$(2,512)$(13,692)
Combined Balance Sheet Data:
As of December 31,
20202019
(in thousands)
Cash and cash equivalents$99,790 $39,348 
Working capital(1)
80,895 38,579 
Total assets1,079,735 1,013,783 
Deferred revenue, current and non-current portion9,670 8,172 
Due to affiliates(2)
372,650 394,400 
Total liabilities448,538 450,087 
_______________
(1)We define working capital as current assets less current liabilities.
(2)Refer to Note 10. Relationship with Parent and Related Entities in the Notes to Combined Financial Statements included in this information statement for additional information regarding our related party debt.
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Questions and Answers About the Separation and Distribution
What is N-able and why is SolarWinds separating N-able’s business and distributing N-able common stock?
N-able, which is currently a wholly owned subsidiary of SolarWinds, was formed to hold the N-able business. The separation of N-able from SolarWinds and the distribution of N‑able common stock are intended to provide you with equity investments in two separate publicly traded companies that each will be able to focus on their respective businesses. SolarWinds and N-able believe that the separation will result in enhanced long-term performance of each business for the reasons discussed in the sections entitled “The Separation and Distribution—Background” and “The Separation and Distribution—Reasons for the Separation.”
Why am I receiving this document?SolarWinds is delivering this document to you because you are a holder of SolarWinds common stock. If you are a holder of SolarWinds common stock as of the close of business on      , 2021, the record date of the distribution, you will be entitled to receive            shares of N-able common stock for every           shares of SolarWinds common stock that you held at the close of business on such date. This document will help you understand how the separation and distribution will affect your investment in SolarWinds and your investment in N-able after the separation.
How will the separation of N-able from SolarWinds work?To accomplish the separation, SolarWinds will distribute            of the outstanding shares of N-able common stock to SolarWinds stockholders on a pro rata basis in a distribution intended to be tax-free for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
Why is the separation of N-able structured as a distribution?SolarWinds believes that a tax-free distribution for U.S. federal income tax purposes of shares of N-able common stock to SolarWinds stockholders is an efficient way to separate its N-able business in a manner that will create long-term value for SolarWinds, N-able and their respective stockholders.
What is the record date for the distribution?The record date for the distribution will be                     , 2021.
When is the distribution of N-able common stock expected to occur?It is expected that all of the shares of N-able common stock will be distributed by SolarWinds on                     , 2021, to holders of record of SolarWinds common stock at the close of business on the record date for the distribution.
What do SolarWinds stockholders need to do to
participate in the distribution?
Holders of SolarWinds common stock as of the record date are not being asked to take any action to receive N-able common stock in the distribution, but you are urged to read this entire information statement carefully. No stockholder approval of the distribution is required. You are not being asked for a proxy. You do not need to pay any consideration, exchange or surrender your existing shares of SolarWinds common stock or take any other action to receive your shares of N-able common stock. The distribution will not affect the number of outstanding shares of SolarWinds common stock or any rights of SolarWinds stockholders, although it will affect the market value of each outstanding share of SolarWinds common stock.
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How will shares of N-able common stock be issued?You will receive shares of N-able common stock through the same channels that you currently use to hold or trade shares of SolarWinds common stock, whether through book-entry, a brokerage account, 401(k) plan or other channel. Receipt of N‑able shares will be documented for you in the same manner that you typically receive updates, such as monthly broker statements and 401(k) statements. If you own shares of SolarWinds common stock as of the close of business on the record date for the distribution, the transfer and distribution agent will electronically distribute shares of N-able common stock to you or to your brokerage firm on your behalf in book-entry form. The transfer and distribution agent will mail you a book-entry account statement that reflects your shares of N-able common stock, or your bank or brokerage firm will credit your account for the shares.
How many shares of N-able common stock will I receive in the distribution?
SolarWinds will distribute to you            shares of N‑able common stock for every            shares of SolarWinds common stock held by you as of the record date for the distribution. Based on approximately                      shares of SolarWinds common stock outstanding as of                     , 2021, a total of approximately                     shares of N-able common stock will be distributed. For additional information on the distribution, see “The Separation and Distribution.”
Will SolarWinds distribute fractional shares of N-able common stock in the distribution?
No. SolarWinds will not distribute fractional shares of N-able common stock. Fractional shares that SolarWinds stockholders would otherwise have been entitled to receive will be aggregated and sold in the public market by the transfer and distribution agent. The aggregate net cash proceeds of these sales will be distributed pro rata to those SolarWinds stockholders who would otherwise have been entitled to receive fractional shares. Recipients of cash in lieu of fractional shares will not be entitled to any interest on the amounts of payment made in lieu of fractional shares. The receipt of cash in lieu of fractional shares generally will be taxable to the recipient stockholders for U.S. federal income tax purposes as described in the section entitled “U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations.
What are the conditions to the distribution?
The distribution is subject to final approval by the SolarWinds board of directors, as well as to a number of other conditions, including, among others:
the transfer of assets and liabilities to N-able in accordance with a separation and distribution agreement between SolarWinds and N-able, or the separation agreement, will have been completed, other than assets and liabilities intended to transfer after the distribution;
SolarWinds will have received opinions from its tax counsel and tax advisers regarding the qualification of the distribution, together with certain related transactions, as a reorganization within the meaning of Sections 355 and 368(a)(1)(D) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code;
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the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, will have declared effective the registration statement of which this information statement is a part, no stop order suspending the effectiveness of the registration statement will be in effect, no proceedings for such purpose will be pending before or threatened by the SEC and this information statement will have been mailed to SolarWinds stockholders;
all actions and filings necessary or appropriate under applicable U.S. federal, U.S. state or other securities laws will have been taken and, where applicable, will have become effective or been accepted by the applicable governmental authority;
the transaction agreements relating to the separation will have been duly executed and delivered by the parties;
no order, injunction or decree issued by any court of competent jurisdiction or other legal restraint or prohibition preventing the consummation of the separation, the distribution or any of the related transactions will be in effect;
the shares of N-able common stock to be distributed will have been accepted for listing on the NYSE, subject to official notice of distribution;
the financing described under the section entitled “Description of Indebtedness” will have been completed; and
no other event or development will have occurred or exist that, in the judgment of SolarWinds’ board of directors, in its sole discretion, makes it inadvisable to go forward with the separation, the distribution or the other related transactions.
SolarWinds and N-able cannot assure you that any or all of these conditions will be met. In addition, SolarWinds can decline at any time to go forward with the separation and distribution. For a complete discussion of all of the conditions to the distribution, see “The Separation and Distribution—Conditions to the Distribution.”
What is the expected date of completion of the separation?The completion and timing of the separation and distribution are dependent upon a number of conditions. It is expected that the shares of N-able common stock will be distributed by SolarWinds on                     , 2021 to the holders of record of shares of SolarWinds common stock at the close of business on the record date. However, no assurance can be provided as to the timing of the separation or that all conditions to the separation will be met.
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Can SolarWinds decide to not go forward with the distribution of N-able common stock even if all the conditions have been met?
Yes. The distribution is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of certain conditions. See “The Separation and Distribution—Conditions to the Distribution.” Until the distribution has occurred, SolarWinds has the right to terminate the distribution, even if all of the conditions are satisfied.
What if I want to sell my SolarWinds common stock or my N-able common stock?
You should consult with your financial advisors, such as your stockbroker, bank or tax advisor.
What is “regular-way” and “ex-distribution” trading of SolarWinds stock?
Beginning on or shortly before the record date for the distribution and continuing up to and through the distribution date, it is expected that there will be two markets in SolarWinds common stock: a “regular-way” market and an “ex-distribution” market. Shares of SolarWinds common stock that trade in the “regular-way” market will trade with an entitlement to shares of N-able common stock to be distributed pursuant to the distribution. Shares that trade in the “ex-distribution” market will trade without an entitlement to shares of N-able common stock to be distributed pursuant to the distribution.

If you decide to sell any shares of SolarWinds common stock before the distribution date, you should make sure your stockbroker, bank or other nominee understands whether you want to sell your SolarWinds common stock with or without your entitlement to N-able common stock pursuant to the distribution.
Where will I be able to trade shares of N-able common stock?N-able intends to apply to list its common stock on the NYSE under the symbol “NABL.” N-able anticipates that trading in shares of its common stock will begin on a “when-issued” basis on or shortly before the record date for the distribution and will continue up to the distribution date and that “regular-way” trading in N-able common stock will begin on the first trading day following the completion of the distribution. If trading begins on a “when-issued” basis, you may purchase or sell N‑able common stock up to the distribution date, but your transaction will not settle until after the distribution date. N-able cannot predict the trading prices for its common stock before, on or after the distribution date.
What will happen to the listing of SolarWinds common stock?SolarWinds common stock will continue to trade on the NYSE after the distribution under the symbol “SWI.”
Will the number of shares of SolarWinds common stock that I own change as a result of the distribution?No. The number of shares of SolarWinds common stock that you own will not change as a result of the distribution.
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Will the distribution affect the market price of my SolarWinds shares?Yes. As a result of the distribution, SolarWinds expects the trading price of shares of SolarWinds common stock immediately following the distribution to be lower than the “regular-way” trading price of such shares immediately prior to the distribution because the trading price will no longer reflect the value of the N-able business. There can be no assurance that the aggregate market value of the SolarWinds common stock and the N-able common stock following the separation will be higher or lower than the market value of SolarWinds common stock if the separation did not occur. This means, for example, that the combined trading prices of all outstanding shares of SolarWinds common stock and N-able common stock after the distribution may be equal to, greater than or less than the trading price of all outstanding shares of SolarWinds common stock before the distribution.
What are the U.S. federal income tax consequences of the separation and the distribution?
Assuming that the separation and distribution qualify as a transaction that is tax-free to SolarWinds and SolarWinds’ stockholders for U.S. federal income tax purposes, under Sections 368(a)(1)(D) and 355 of the Code, SolarWinds stockholders will not be required, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, to recognize any gain or loss (except with respect to any cash received in lieu of fractional shares) or to include any amount in their income, upon the receipt of shares of N-able’s common stock pursuant to the distribution.

See “U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations” for further information regarding the potential U.S. federal income tax considerations to SolarWinds stockholders of the distribution, together with certain related transactions. You should consult your tax advisor as to the particular tax consequences of the separation and distribution to you.
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Is the separation and distribution anticipated to be tax free to existing shareholders?
Maybe. A condition to the distribution is that SolarWinds obtain opinions from tax counsel and tax advisors regarding qualification of the separation and distribution, together with certain related transactions, as a transaction that is generally tax-free for U.S. federal income tax purposes under the Code. It is anticipated that SolarWinds’ stockholders will not recognize any gain or loss, and no amount will be included in SolarWinds’ stockholders income, upon receipt of N-able common stock pursuant to the distribution for U.S. federal income tax purposes. SolarWinds’ stockholders will, however, recognize gain or loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes with respect to cash received in lieu of a fractional share of N-able common stock. The opinions will not be binding on the IRS or the courts. The opinions will rely on certain facts and assumptions, which, if incomplete or inaccurate, may jeopardize the ability to rely on such opinions. SolarWinds may also waive the tax opinions as a condition to the distribution in its sole discretion. SolarWinds does not currently intend to waive this condition to the obligation to complete the distribution. If SolarWinds were to waive this condition, it would communicate such waiver to SolarWinds stockholders in a manner reasonably calculated to inform them about the modification. See “U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations” for further information regarding the potential U.S. federal income tax considerations to SolarWinds stockholders of the distribution, together with certain related transactions. You should consult your tax advisor as to the particular tax consequences of the separation and distribution to you.
How will I determine my tax basis in the shares I receive in the distribution?
Assuming that the separation and distribution qualify as tax-free to SolarWinds stockholders, except for cash received in lieu of fractional shares, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, your aggregate basis in your shares of SolarWinds common stock and the new N-able common stock received in the distribution (including any fractional share interest in N-able common stock for which cash is received) will equal the aggregate basis in the shares of SolarWinds common stock held by you immediately before the distribution, allocated between your SolarWinds common stock and the N-able common stock (including any fractional share interest in N-able common stock for which cash is received) you receive in the distribution in proportion to the relative fair market value of each on the distribution date.
 
You should consult your tax advisor about the particular consequences of the separation and distribution to you, including the application of the tax basis allocation rules and the application of state, local and foreign tax laws.
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What will N-able’s relationship be with SolarWinds following the separation?
N-able will enter into the separation agreement with SolarWinds in connection with the separation which will provide a framework for N-able’s relationship with SolarWinds after the separation. N-able and SolarWinds will enter into certain other agreements, including a transition services agreement, an employee matters agreement, a tax matters agreement and an intellectual property matters agreement. These agreements will govern the separation between N-able and SolarWinds of certain assets, employees, liabilities and obligations (including its investments, property and employee benefits and tax-related assets and liabilities) of SolarWinds and its subsidiaries attributable to periods prior to, at and after N-able’s separation from SolarWinds and will govern certain relationships between N-able and SolarWinds after the separation. For additional information regarding the separation agreement and other transaction agreements, see the sections entitled “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Separation from SolarWinds” and “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions.”
Which business and assets will remain with SolarWinds and which business and assets will transfer to N-able?
Following the separation, N-able will provide cloud-based software solutions for managed service providers, enabling them to support digital transformation and growth within small and medium-sized enterprises. SolarWinds will retain its Core IT Management business focused primarily on providing IT infrastructure management software to corporate IT organizations. For more information regarding the business and assets of N-able and SolarWinds following the separation, see “The Separation and Distribution—Background” and “The Separation and Distribution—Reasons for the Separation.”
Who will manage N-able after the separation?
Members of N-able’s management team possess deep knowledge of, and extensive experience relevant to, the business of N-able. For more information regarding N-able’s management, see “Management.”
Are there risks associated with owning N-able common stock?
Yes. Ownership of N-able common stock is subject to both general and specific risks, including those relating to N-able’s business, the industry in which it operates, its ongoing contractual relationships with SolarWinds, its relationship with the Sponsors and its status as a separate publicly traded company. Ownership of N-able common stock also is subject to risks relating to the separation. These risks are described throughout this information statement and in the “Risk Factors” beginning on page 21. You are encouraged to read that section carefully.
Does N-able plan to pay dividends?
N-able currently does not expect to pay dividends on its common stock. The declaration and payment of any dividends by N‑able be subject to the sole discretion of its board of directors and, while a controlled company, the Sponsors, and will depend upon many factors. See “Dividend Policy.”
Will N-able incur any indebtedness prior to or at the time of the distribution?
Yes. N-able anticipates having certain indebtedness upon completion of the separation. See “Description of Indebtedness” and “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Businesses and Industry.”
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Who will be the transfer and distribution agent for the N-able common stock?
The distribution agent, transfer agent and registrar for the N‑able common stock will be American Stock Transfer & Trust Company. For questions relating to the transfer or mechanics of the stock distribution, you may call the transfer agent at (718) 921-8254.
Where can I find more information about SolarWinds and N-able ?Before the distribution, if you have any questions relating to SolarWinds’ business performance, you should contact:

SolarWinds Corporation
7171 Southwest Parkway, Building 400
Austin, Texas 78735
Attention: Investor Relations

After the distribution, holders of N-able common stock who have questions relating to N-able’s business performance should contact N-able at:

N-able, Inc.
301 Edgewater Dr., Suite 306               
Wakefield, MA 01880               
Attention: Investor Relations

N-able’s investor website will be operational at or prior to the separation.
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Risk Factors
You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below in evaluating N‑able and N‑able common stock. In assessing these risks, you should also refer to the other information contained in this information statement, including our combined financial statements and the related notes thereto. The risks described below are not the only ones we face. Additional risks we are not currently aware of or that we currently believe are immaterial may also impair our business, operations, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Risks Related to Our Business and Industry
Our quarterly revenue and operating results may fluctuate in the future because of a number of factors, which makes our future results difficult to predict or could cause our operating results or the guidance we provide in the future to fall below expectations.
We believe our quarterly revenue and operating results may vary significantly in the future. As a result, you should not rely on the results of any one quarter as an indication of future performance and period-to-period comparisons of our revenue and operating results may not be meaningful.
Our quarterly results of operations may fluctuate as a result of a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, those listed below, many of which are outside of our control:
our ability to maintain and increase sales to existing MSP partners and to attract new MSP partners, including selling additional subscriptions to our existing MSP partners to deliver services to their SME customers or for their internal use;
changes in SME demand for services provided by our MSP partners, including those related to the number of SME customers serviced by our MSP partners and the reduced amount of services provided by our MSP partners to their SME customers;
declines in subscription renewals and changes in net customer retention;
lack of visibility into our financial position and results of operations in connection with our consumption-based revenue;
our ability to capture a significant volume of qualified sales opportunities;
our ability to convert qualified sales opportunities into new business sales at acceptable conversion rates;
the amount and timing of operating expenses and capital expenditures related to the expansion of our operations and infrastructure and customer acquisition;
our failure to achieve the growth rate that was anticipated by us in setting our operating and capital expense budgets;
potential foreign exchange gains and losses related to expenses and sales denominated in currencies other than the functional currency of an associated entity;
fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates that may negatively impact our reported results of operations;
the timing of revenue and expenses related to the development or acquisition of technologies, solutions or businesses, or strategic partnerships and their integration;
potential goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges and amortization associated with acquired businesses;
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the timing and success of new offerings, enhancements or functionalities introduced by us or our competitors, including potential deferral of orders from our MSP partners in anticipation of new offerings or enhancements announced by us or our competitors;
any other change in the competitive landscape of our industry, including consolidation among our competitors, MSP partners or SMEs and strategic partnerships entered into by us and our competitors;
our ability to obtain, maintain, protect and enforce our intellectual property rights;
changes in our subscription pricing or those of our competitors;
the impact of new accounting pronouncements;
general economic, industry and market conditions that impact expenditures for IT management technology for SMEs in the United States and other countries where we sell our solutions;
significant security breaches, such as the Cyber Incident, technical difficulties or interruptions to our solutions or infrastructure;
changes in tax rates in jurisdictions in which we operate; and
uncertainties arising from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the market and our business operations.
Fluctuations in our quarterly operating results might lead analysts to change their models for valuing our common stock. As a result, our stock price could decline rapidly, and we could face costly securities class action suits or other unanticipated issues.
The global COVID-19 pandemic may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, a pandemic. The global COVID-19 pandemic has created significant volatility, uncertainty and disruption in the global economy. The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic may impact our business, results of operations and financial condition is uncertain and will depend on numerous evolving factors outside of our control that we are not able to accurately predict, including:
the duration and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic;
governmental actions taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that restrict or disrupt global economic activity, including restrictions imposed on the operation of our business in our U.S. and international locations;
business failures, reductions in information technology spending by our MSP partners and their SME customers, late or missed payments or delays in purchasing decisions by our MSP partners, their SME customers and our prospective MSP partners and the resulting impact on demand for our offerings, our ability to collect payments for our subscriptions or our ability to increase our net customer retention rate;
our ability to continue to effectively market, sell and support our solutions through disruptions to our operations, the operations of our MSP partners and their SME customers and the communities in which our and their employees are located, including disruptions resulting from the spread of the virus, quarantines, office closures, reallocation of internal resources and transitions to remote working arrangements;
the ability of our solutions to address our MSP partners’ needs and the needs of their SME customers in a rapidly evolving business environment and any interruptions or performance problems associated with the increased use of our solutions as a result of the shift to more remote working environments, including disruptions at any third-party data centers or with any third-party products or vendors upon which we rely;
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our ability to develop new solutions, enhance our existing solutions and acquire new solutions in this uncertain business environment; and
public and private litigation based upon, arising out of or related to COVID-19 and our actions and responses thereto.
In addition to the adverse impact any of these factors could have on our business, results of operations and financial condition, these factors and the other impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic could cause, contribute to, or increase the likelihood of the risks and uncertainties identified in this information statement, any of which could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. Additionally, the effect of COVID-19 on our business will not be fully reflected in our financial results for some time.
If we are unable to sell subscriptions to new MSP partners, to sell additional solutions to our existing MSP partners or to increase the usage of our solutions by our existing MSP partners, it could adversely affect our revenue growth and operating results.
We provide our solutions primarily under monthly or annual subscriptions to our MSP partners. A subscription generally entitles a customer to, among other things, support, as well as security updates, fixes, functionality enhancements and upgrades to the technologies, each, if and when available. To increase our revenue, we must regularly add new MSP partners and expand our relationships with our existing MSP partners. We also rely, to a significant degree, on our MSPs establishing and maintaining relationships with their SME customers, for our MSP partners to add new SME customers, for those customers to add new devices and to drive adoption of new services that we offer. Economic weakness and uncertainty, tightened credit markets and constrained IT spending from time to time contribute to slowdowns in the technology industry, as well as in the industries of SMEs and the geographic regions in which we, our MSP partners and their SME customers operate; this may result in reduced demand and increased price competition for our offerings. Uncertainty about future economic conditions may, among other things, negatively impact the current and prospective SME customers of our MSP partners and result in delays or reductions in technology purchases. Even if we capture a significant volume of opportunities from our digital marketing activities, we must be able to convert those opportunities into sales of our subscriptions in order to achieve revenue growth.
We primarily rely on our direct sales force to sell our solutions to new and existing MSP partners and convert qualified opportunities into sales using our low-touch, high-velocity sales model. Accordingly, our ability to achieve significant growth in revenue in the future will depend on our ability to recruit, train and retain sufficient numbers of sales personnel, and on the productivity of those personnel. Following the separation and distribution, we plan to continue to expand our sales force both domestically and internationally. Our recent and planned personnel additions may not become as productive as we would like or in a timely manner, and we may be unable to hire or retain sufficient numbers of qualified individuals in the future in the markets where we do or plan to do business. In connection with the separation and distribution, we may incur higher costs than previously anticipated as we transition from the transactional and operational systems and data centers we used when we were part of SolarWinds.
Our business depends on MSP partners renewing their subscription agreements. If our subscription-based business model fails to yield the benefits that we expect, our results of operations could be negatively impacted.
The significant majority of our revenue consists of subscription revenue. Our subscriptions generally have recurring monthly or annual subscription periods. Our MSP partners have no obligation to renew their subscription agreements after the expiration of their subscription.
It is difficult to accurately predict long-term customer retention. Our MSP partners’ subscription net revenue retention rates may decline or fluctuate as a result of a number of factors, including their level of satisfaction with our offerings, the prices of our solutions, the prices of tools and services offered by our competitors or reductions in our MSP partners’ or their SME customers’ spending levels. If our MSP partners do not renew their subscription arrangements or if they renew them on less favorable terms, our revenue may decline and our business will suffer.
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We operate in highly competitive markets, which could make it difficult for us to acquire and retain MSP partners at our historic rates.
We operate in a highly competitive and dynamic industry driven by the technology needs of SMEs and MSPs. Our industry is large and fragmented with several vendors that provide technologies used by MSPs and other IT service providers to service SMEs Competition in our market is based primarily on solution capabilities, including: breadth and extensibility of features and functionality; focus on and alignment with both MSP and SME success; scalability, performance and reliability of our platform and solutions; ability to solve the technical and business problems of MSPs and customers of all sizes and complexities; flexibility of deployment models, whether public or private cloud, on-premises or in a hybrid environment; continued innovation to keep pace with evolving technology requirements and the changing needs of the SME market; ease of use and deployment; brand awareness and reputation among MSPs, their technicians and other IT professionals; total cost of ownership and alignment of cost with business objectives and needs of the MSP and SME markets; and effectiveness of sales and marketing efforts. Our MSP partners have limited barriers to switching to a competitor’s solution from our platform if we fail to provide solutions and services that meet their needs. In addition, many of our current and potential competitors enjoy substantial competitive advantages over us, such as greater brand awareness and longer operating history, broader distribution and established relationships with MSPs, larger sales and marketing budgets and resources, greater customer support resources, greater resources to make strategic acquisitions or enter into strategic partnerships, lower labor and development costs, larger and more mature intellectual property portfolios and substantially greater financial, technical and other resources. Given their larger size, greater resources and existing customer relationships, our competitors may be able to compete and respond more effectively than we can to new or changing opportunities, technologies, standards or customer requirements. In addition, we are changing our brand from the “SolarWinds MSP” brand to “N-able,” which may result in the potential loss of customer recognition and could adversely affect our business and profitability.
We face competition from IT vendors focused on the MSP market which provide broad, integrated solutions that include monitoring and management, data protection, business management tools and security offerings. Examples of such vendors are Datto and Kaseya. In addition, we compete with small to large enterprise vendors that provide solutions focused on a particular service that may be sold by MSPs, such as network monitoring, systems management, email security, remote support and data protection. Examples of such vendors are Auvik, Mimecast and Veeam.
New start-up companies that innovate and large competitors, or potential competitors, that make significant investments in research and development may invent similar or superior solutions and technologies that compete with our subscriptions. In addition, some of our larger competitors, or potential competitors, have substantially broader and more diverse solutions and services offerings. This may make them less susceptible to downturns in a particular market and allow them to leverage their relationships based on other solutions or incorporate functionality into existing solutions to grow their business in a manner that discourages users from purchasing our solutions and subscriptions, including through selling at zero or negative margins, offering concessions, solutions bundling or closed technology platforms. In addition, MSPs or SMEs that use legacy tools and services of our competitors may believe that these tools and services are sufficient to meet their IT needs or that our platform only serves the needs of a portion of the SME IT market. Accordingly, these organizations may continue allocating their IT budgets for such legacy tools and services and may not adopt our offerings. Further, many organizations have invested substantial personnel and financial resources to design and operate their networks and have established deep relationships with other competitive providers. As a result, these organizations may prefer to purchase from their existing suppliers rather than to add or switch to a new supplier using our solutions and services, regardless of solution performance, features or greater services offerings.
As the MSP industry evolves, the competitive pressure for us to innovate encompasses a wider range of services, including new offerings that require different expertise than our current offerings. Some of our competitors have made acquisitions or entered into strategic relationships with one another to offer more competitive, bundled or integrated solution offerings and to adapt more quickly to new technologies and MSP or SME needs. We expect this trend to continue as companies attempt to strengthen or maintain their market positions in an evolving industry and as companies enter into partnerships or are acquired. Companies and alliances resulting from these possible
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consolidations and partnerships may create more compelling solution offerings and be able to offer more attractive pricing, making it more difficult for us to compete effectively.
These competitive pressures in our market or our failure to compete effectively may result in price reductions, decreases in net customer retention rates, reduced revenue and gross margins and loss of market share. Any failure to meet and address these factors could seriously harm our business and operating results.
Our success depends on our ability to adapt to the rapidly changing needs of MSP partners and their SME customers.
The SME IT market has grown quickly and is expected to continue to evolve rapidly. Moreover, many of our MSP partners and their SME customers operate in markets characterized by rapidly changing technologies and business plans, which require them to adopt increasingly complex networks, incorporating a variety of hardware, software applications, operating systems and networking protocols. Our long-term growth depends on our ability to continually enhance and improve our existing offerings and develop or acquire new solutions that address the common problems encountered by technology professionals on a day-to-day basis in an evolving IT management market, including adapting to rapidly changing technologies and user preferences, adapting our offerings to evolving industry standards, predicting user preferences and industry changes in order to continue to provide value to our MSP partners and to improve the performance and reliability of our offerings. The success of any enhancement or new solution depends on a number of factors, including its relevance to MSP partners and their SME customers, changes to the form factors in technologies powering the businesses of SMEs, timely completion and introduction and market acceptance. New solutions and enhancements that we develop or acquire may not sufficiently address the evolving needs of our existing and potential MSP partners and their SME customers, may not be introduced in a timely or cost-effective manner and may not achieve the broad market acceptance necessary to generate the amount of revenue necessary to realize returns on our investments in developing or acquiring such solutions or enhancements. If our new offerings are not successful for any reason, certain offerings in our portfolio may become obsolete, less marketable and less competitive, and our business will be harmed.
If we fail to integrate our solutions with a variety of operating systems, software applications, platforms and hardware that are developed by others or ourselves, our solutions may become less competitive or obsolete and our results of operations would be harmed.
In order to meet the needs of our MSP partners, our solutions must integrate with a variety of network, hardware and software platforms, and we need to continuously modify and enhance our solutions to adapt to changes in hardware, software, networking, browser and database technologies. We believe a significant component of our value proposition to MSP partners is the ability to optimize and configure our solutions to integrate with our systems and those of third parties. If we are not able to integrate our solutions in a meaningful and efficient manner, whether through our inability to continue to adapt or because third parties restrict our ability to integrate with their networks, hardware or software, demand for our solutions could decrease, and our business and results of operations would be harmed.
In addition, we have a large number of solutions, and maintaining and integrating them effectively requires extensive resources. Our continuing efforts to make our solutions more interoperative may not be successful. Failure of our solutions to operate effectively with future infrastructure platforms and technologies could reduce the demand for our solutions, resulting in customer dissatisfaction and harm to our business. If we are unable to respond to changes in a cost-effective manner, our solutions may become less marketable, less competitive or obsolete and our business and results of operations may be harmed.
We have experienced substantial growth in recent years, and if we fail to manage our growth effectively, we may be unable to execute our business plan, maintain high levels of customer satisfaction or adequately address competitive challenges, and our financial performance may be adversely affected.
Our business has rapidly grown, which has resulted in large increases in our number of employees, expansion of our infrastructure, new internal systems and other significant changes and additional complexities. We generated revenue of $302.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $263.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 and $228.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. While we intend to further expand
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our overall business, customer base and number of employees, our historical growth rate is not necessarily indicative of the growth that we may achieve in the future. The growth in our business and our management of a growing workforce and customer base that is geographically dispersed across the U.S. and internationally will require substantial management effort, infrastructure and operational capabilities. In addition, we are currently installing and implementing information technology infrastructure to support certain of our business functions as a standalone entity, including accounting and reporting, human resources, marketing and sales operations, customer service and business analytics. We may incur substantially higher costs than previously anticipated as we transition from the transactional and operational systems and data centers we used when we were part of SolarWinds. To support our growth, we must effectively transition and continue to improve our management resources and our operational and financial controls and systems, and these improvements may increase our expenses more than anticipated and result in a more complex business. We will also have to transition and anticipate the necessary expansion of our relationship management, implementation, customer support and other personnel to support our growth and achieve high levels of customer service and satisfaction. Our success will depend on our ability to complete this transition, plan for and manage this growth effectively. If we fail to complete this transition, anticipate and manage our growth, or are unable to provide high levels of customer service, our reputation, as well as our business, results of operations and financial condition, could be harmed.
We may not be able to achieve or sustain the same level of cash flows in the future.
We expect our operating expenses may increase over the next several years as we hire additional personnel, expand our operations and infrastructure, both domestically and internationally, pursue acquisitions and continue to develop our platform's functionalities. As we continue to develop as a standalone public company, we may incur additional legal, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur historically. If our revenue does not increase to offset these increases in our operating expenses, we will not be able to achieve or maintain our historical levels of profitability in future periods. While historically our revenue has grown, in future periods, our revenue growth could slow or our revenue could decline for a number of reasons, including slowing demand for our solutions, increasing competition, a failure to gain or retain MSP partners, a decrease in the growth of our overall market, our technology or services becoming obsolete due to technical advancements in the SME IT market or our failure, for any reason, to continue to capitalize on growth opportunities. As a result, our past financial performance should not be considered indicative of our future performance. Any failure by us to achieve or sustain cash flows on a consistent basis could cause us to halt our expansion, not pursue strategic business combinations, default on payments due on existing contracts, fail to continue developing our platform, solutions and services or experience other negative changes in our business.
Our operating income could fluctuate as we make future expenditures to expand our operations in order to support additional growth in our business, or if we fail to see the expected benefits of prior expenditures.
We have made significant investments in our operations to support additional growth, such as hiring substantial numbers of new personnel, investing in new facilities, acquiring other companies or their assets and establishing and broadening our international operations in order to expand our business. We have made substantial investments in recent years to increase our sales and marketing operations in international regions and expect to continue to invest to grow our international sales and global brand awareness. We also expect to continue to invest to grow our research and development organization, particularly internationally. We have made multiple acquisitions in recent years and expect these acquisitions will continue to increase our operating expenses in future periods. These investments may not yield increased revenue, and even if they do, the increased revenue may not offset the amount of the investments. We also expect to continue to pursue acquisitions in order to expand our presence in current markets or new markets, many or all of which may increase our operating costs more than our revenue. As a result of any of these factors, our operating income could fluctuate and may decline as a percentage of revenue relative to our prior annual periods.
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Because our long-term success depends on our ability to operate our business internationally and increase sales of our solutions to our MSP partners located outside of the United States, our business is susceptible to risks associated with international operations.
We have international operations in the United Kingdom, Canada, Belarus, Romania, Austria, Portugal, the Netherlands, Australia and the Philippines and we market and sell our solutions worldwide. We expect to continue to expand our international operations for the foreseeable future. The continued international expansion of our operations requires significant management attention and financial resources and results in increased administrative and compliance costs. Our limited experience in operating our business in certain regions outside the United States increases the risk that our expansion efforts into those regions may not be successful. In particular, our business model may not be successful in particular countries or regions outside the United States for reasons that we currently are unable to anticipate. We are subject to risks associated with international sales and operations including, but not limited to:
fluctuations in currency exchange rates;
the complexity of, or changes in, foreign regulatory requirements, including more stringent regulations relating to privacy and data security and the unauthorized use of, or access to, commercial and personal data, particularly in Europe;
localization by our channel partners, including translation of our materials;
difficulties in managing the staffing of international operations, including compliance with local labor and employment laws and regulations;
potentially adverse tax consequences, including the complexities of foreign value added tax systems, overlapping tax regimes, restrictions on the repatriation of earnings and changes in tax rates;
the burdens of complying with a wide variety of foreign laws and different legal standards;
increased financial accounting and reporting burdens and complexities;
longer payment cycles and difficulties in collecting accounts receivable;
longer sales cycles;
political, social and economic instability;
war, terrorist attacks and security concerns in general;
reduced or varied protection for intellectual property rights in some countries and the risk of potential theft or compromise of our technology, data or intellectual property in connection with our international operations, whether by state-sponsored malfeasance or other foreign entities or individuals;
laws and policies of the U.S. and other jurisdictions affecting international trade (including import and export control laws, tariffs and trade barriers);
the risk of U.S. regulation of foreign operations; and
other factors beyond our control such as natural disasters and pandemics.
The occurrence of any one of these risks could negatively affect our international business and, consequently, our operating results. We cannot be certain that the investment and additional resources required to establish, acquire or integrate operations in other countries will produce desired levels of revenue or profitability. If we are unable to effectively manage our expansion into additional geographic markets, our financial condition and results of operations could be harmed.
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In particular, we operate much of our research and development activities internationally and outsource a portion of the coding and testing of our solutions and solutions enhancements to contract development vendors. We believe that performing research and development in our international facilities and supplementing these activities with our contract development vendors enhances the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of our solution development. For example, we have research and development facilities located in Belarus, which has experienced numerous public protest activities and civil unrest since the presidential election in early August 2020, with active government and police-force intervention. The extent and duration of the instability remains uncertain. To date, intermittent communications and mobile internet outages have occasionally occurred and the European Union has issued economic sanctions against specific Belarusian officials. The current events in Belarus and similar unrest in other countries may pose security risks to our people, our facilities, our operations and infrastructure, such as utilities and network services, and the disruption of any or all of them could materially adversely affect our operations and/or financial results. Whether in these countries or in others in which we operate, civil unrest, political instability or uncertainty, military activities, or broad-based sanctions, should they continue for the long term or escalate, could require us to re-balance our geographic concentrations and could have a material adverse effect on our operations.
In June 2016, the United Kingdom’s electorate voted in a referendum to voluntarily depart from the European Union, commonly referred to as “Brexit.” The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union occurred on January 31, 2020, but the United Kingdom remained in the European Union’s customs union and single market for a transition period that expired on December 31, 2020. On December 24, 2020, the United Kingdom and the European Union entered into a trade and cooperation agreement, or the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which was applied on a provisional basis from January 1, 2021. While the economic integration does not reach the level that existed during the time the United Kingdom was a member state of the European Union, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement sets out preferential arrangements in areas such as trade in goods and in services, digital trade and intellectual property. Negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union are expected to continue in relation to the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union in certain other areas which are not covered by the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. The long term effects of Brexit will depend on the effects of the implementation and application of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and any other relevant agreements between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
We have operations and employees in the United Kingdom that are critical to the success of our business, including two offices and employees that support sales, marketing, finance, and engineering functions. As a result, we face risks associated with the potential uncertainty and disruptions that may follow Brexit and the implementation and application of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, including with respect to volatility in exchange rates and interest rates, disruptions to the free movement of data, goods, services, people and capital between the United Kingdom and the European Union and potential material changes to the regulatory regime applicable to our operations in the United Kingdom. We may also face new regulatory costs and challenges as a result of Brexit that could have a material adverse effect on our operations. For example, as of January 1, 2021, the United Kingdom lost the benefits of global trade agreements negotiated by the European Union on behalf of its members, which may result in increased trade barriers that could make our doing business in areas that are subject to such global trade agreements more difficult. In addition, Brexit could lead to legal uncertainty and potentially divergent national laws and regulations as the United Kingdom determines which laws of the European Union to replace or replicate. There may continue to be economic uncertainty surrounding the consequences of Brexit that adversely impact customer confidence resulting in customers reducing their spending budgets on our services, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, global privacy and data protection legislation, enforcement and policy activity are rapidly expanding and evolving, and may be inconsistent from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. For example, on July 16, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union, Europe’s highest court, held in the Schrems II case that the E.U.-U.S. Privacy Shield, a mechanism for the transfer of personal data from the European Union to the United States, was invalid and imposed additional obligations in connection with the use of standard contractual clauses approved by the European Commission. The impact of this decision on the ability to lawfully transfer personal data from the European Union to the United States is being assessed and guidance from European regulators and advisory bodies is awaited. It is possible that the decision will restrict the ability to transfer personal data from the European Union to the United States and we may, in addition to other impacts, experience additional costs associated with increased
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compliance burdens, and we, our MSP partners and their SME customers face the potential for regulators in the European Economic Area (“EEA”) to apply different standards to the transfer of personal data from the EEA to the United States, and to block, or require ad hoc verification of measures taken with respect to, certain data flows from the EEA to the United States.
If one or more of these risks occurs, it could require us to dedicate significant resources to remedy, and if we are unsuccessful in finding a solution, our financial results will suffer.
We may not have visibility into a portion of our revenue that is consumption-based, which may result in our financial position and results of operations falling below internal or external expectations, which could negatively impact the price of our common stock.
A portion of our revenue is recognized based on consumption as MSP partners use certain aspects of our platform, whether such usage is beyond their paid subscriptions or on an individual basis. This usage is particularly applicable to our remote monitoring and management, or RMM, solutions and our backup, recovery and disaster recovery solutions. Unlike our subscription revenue, which is recognized ratably over the term of the subscription, we generally recognize consumption revenue as the services are delivered. Because our MSP partners have flexibility in the timing of their consumption, we do not have the visibility into the timing of revenue recognition that we have with our subscription revenue. There is a risk that our MSP partners will not use portions of our platform that provide consumption-based revenue at all or more slowly than we expect, and our actual results may differ from our forecasts. Further, investors and securities analysts may not understand how the consumption-based portion of our business differs from the subscription-based portion of our business, and our business model may be compared to purely subscription-based business models or purely consumption-based business models. If our quarterly results of operations fall below the expectations of investors and securities analysts who follow our stock, the price of our common stock could decline substantially, and we could face costly lawsuits, including securities class actions.
Our solutions use third-party software that may be difficult to replace or cause errors or failures of our solutions that could lead to a loss of MSP partners or harm to our reputation and our operating results.
In order to provide our MSP partners with additional functionality on our platform, we often partner with best-of-breed technology developers through license arrangements to use their software in our offerings. In the future, this software may not be available to us on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. Any loss of the right to use any of the software could result in decreased functionality of our solutions until equivalent technology is either developed by us or, if available from another provider, is identified, obtained and integrated, which could harm our business. In addition, any errors or defects in or failures of the third-party software could result in errors or defects in our solutions or cause our solutions to fail, which could harm our business and be costly to correct. Many of these providers attempt to impose limitations on their liability for such errors, defects or failures, and if enforceable, we may have additional liability to our MSP partners or third-party providers that could harm our reputation and increase our operating costs.
Interruptions or performance problems associated with our internal infrastructure and its reliance on technologies from third parties may adversely affect our ability to manage our business and meet reporting obligations.
Currently, we use NetSuite to manage our order management and financial processes, salesforce.com to track our sales and marketing efforts and other third-party vendors to manage online marketing and web services. We believe the availability of these services is essential to the management of our high-volume, transaction-oriented business model. We also use third-party vendors to manage our equity compensation plans and certain aspects of our financial reporting processes. As we expand our operations, we expect to utilize additional systems and service providers that may also be essential to managing our business. Although the systems and services that we require are typically available from a number of providers, it is time-consuming and costly to qualify and implement these relationships. Therefore, if one or more of our providers suffer an interruption in their business, or experience delays, disruptions or quality-control problems in their operations, or we have to change or add additional systems and services, our ability to manage our business and produce timely and accurate financial statements would suffer.
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Interruptions or performance problems associated with our solutions, including disruptions at any third-party data centers upon which we rely, may impair our ability to support our MSP partners.
Our continued growth depends in part on the ability of our existing and potential MSP partners to access our websites, software or cloud-based solutions within an acceptable amount of time. We have experienced, and may in the future experience, service disruptions, outages and other performance problems due to a variety of factors, including infrastructure changes, human or software errors, capacity constraints due to an overwhelming number of users accessing our website simultaneously and denial of service or fraud or security attacks. In some instances, we may not be able to identify the cause or causes of these website performance problems within an acceptable period of time. It may become increasingly difficult to maintain and improve our website performance, especially during peak usage times and as our user traffic increases. If our websites are unavailable or if our MSP partners are unable to access our software or cloud-based solutions within a reasonable amount of time or at all, our business would be negatively affected. Additionally, our data centers and networks and third-party data centers and networks may experience technical failures and downtime, may fail to distribute appropriate updates, or may fail to meet the increased requirements of a growing customer base.
We provide certain of our solutions through third-party data center hosting facilities located in the United States and other countries. While we control and have access to our servers and all of the components of our network that are located in such third-party data centers, we do not control the operation of these facilities. Following expiration of the current agreement terms, the owners of the data center facilities have no obligation to renew their agreements with us on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. If we are unable to renew these agreements on commercially reasonable terms, or if one of our data center operators is acquired, we may be required to transfer our servers and other infrastructure to new data center facilities, and we may incur significant costs and possible service interruptions in connection with doing so.
If we fail to develop and maintain our brand, our financial condition and operating results might suffer.
We believe that developing and maintaining awareness and integrity of our brand in a cost-effective manner are important to achieving widespread acceptance of our existing and future offerings and are important elements in attracting new MSP partners. In addition, in connection with the separation and distribution we are changing our brand from the “SolarWinds MSP” brand to “N-able,” which may result in the potential loss of customer recognition and could adversely affect our business and profitability. We believe that the importance of brand recognition will increase as we enter new markets and as competition in our existing markets further intensifies. Successful promotion of our brands will depend on the effectiveness of our marketing efforts and on our ability to provide reliable and useful solutions at competitive prices. We intend to increase our expenditures on brand promotion. Brand promotion activities may not yield increased revenue, and even if they do, the increased revenue may not offset the expenses we incur in building our brands. We also rely on our MSP partner base and their SME customers in a variety of ways, including to give us feedback on our offerings and to provide user-based support to our other customers through our Head Nerds program. If poor advice or misinformation regarding our solutions is spread among users of our Head Nerds program, it could adversely affect our reputation, our financial results and our ability to promote and maintain our brands. If we fail to introduce our new brand, promote and maintain our brands unsuccessfully, fail to maintain loyalty among our MSP partners and their SME customers, or incur substantial expenses in an unsuccessful attempt to introduce, promote and maintain our brands, we may fail to attract new MSP partners or retain our existing MSP partners and our financial condition and results of operations could be harmed. Additionally, if our MSP partners do not use or ineffectively use our solutions to serve their end customers, our reputation and ability to grow our business may be harmed.
If we are unable to capture significant volumes of high quality sales opportunities from our digital marketing initiatives, it could adversely affect our revenue growth and operating results.
Our digital marketing program is designed to efficiently and cost-effectively drive a high volume of website traffic and deliver high quality opportunities, which are generally trials of our solutions, to our sales teams. We drive website traffic and capture opportunities through various digital marketing initiatives, including search engine optimization, or SEO, targeted email campaigns, localized websites, social media, e-book distribution, video content, blogging and webinars. If we fail to drive a sufficient amount of website traffic or capture a sufficient
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volume of high quality sales opportunities from these activities, our revenue may not grow as expected or could decrease. If these activities are unsuccessful, we may be required to increase our sales and marketing expenses, which may not be offset by additional revenue and could adversely affect our operating results.
Our digital marketing initiatives may be unsuccessful in driving high volumes of website traffic and generating trials of our solutions, resulting in fewer high quality sales opportunities, for a number of reasons. For example, technology professionals often find our solutions when they are online searching for a solution to address a specific need. Search engines typically provide two types of search results, algorithmic and purchased listings, and we rely on both. The display, including rankings, of unpaid search results can be affected by a number of factors, many of which are not in our direct control, and may change frequently. Our SEO techniques have been developed to work with existing search algorithms used by the major search engines. However, major search engines frequently modify their search algorithms and such modifications could cause our websites to receive less favorable placements, which could reduce the number of technology professionals who visit our websites. In addition, websites must comply with search engine guidelines and policies that are complex and may change at any time. If we fail to follow such guidelines and policies properly, search engines may rank our content lower in search results or could remove our content altogether from their indexes. If our websites are displayed less prominently, or fail to appear in search result listings in response to search inquiries regarding IT management problems through Internet search engines for any reason, our website traffic could significantly decline, requiring us to incur increased marketing expenses to replace this traffic. Any failure to replace this traffic could reduce our revenue.
In addition, the success of our digital marketing initiatives depends in part on our ability to collect customer data and communicate with existing and potential MSP partners online and through phone calls. As part of the solution evaluation trial process and during our sales process, most of our MSP partners agree to receive emails and other communications from us. We also use tracking technologies, including cookies and related technologies, to help us track the activities of the visitors to our websites. However, as discussed in greater detail below, we are subject to a wide variety of data privacy and security laws and regulations in the United States and internationally that affect our ability to collect and use customer data and communicate with MSP partners through email and phone calls. Several jurisdictions have proposed or adopted laws that restrict or prohibit unsolicited email or “spam” or regulate the use of cookies, including the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. These new laws and regulations may impose significant monetary penalties for violations and complex and often burdensome requirements in connection with sending commercial email or other data-driven marketing practices. As a result of such regulation, we may be required to modify or discontinue our existing marketing practices, which could increase our marketing costs.
We may need to reduce or change our pricing model to remain competitive.
We price our subscriptions on a per-device or per-user basis with pricing based on volume tiers. We expect that we may need to change our pricing from time to time. As new or existing competitors introduce tools that compete with ours or reduce their prices, we may be unable to attract new customers or retain existing customers. We also must determine the appropriate price to enable us to compete effectively internationally. As a result, we may be required or choose to reduce our prices or otherwise change our pricing model, which could adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition.
We have benefited from growth in the market for SME IT spending, and lack of continued growth or contraction in this market could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
As SMEs invest in technology and their needs for continuous availability, performance and security grow, they have been increasingly relying on MSPs to manage these aspects of their businesses. In addition to MSPs, other IT service providers, such as value-added resellers, systems integrators, IT consultants and data center operators, have also adopted a managed services model. While we have benefited from the growth in SME spending on IT and the rise of the managed IT services model, the market is dynamic and evolving. Our future financial performance will depend in large part on continued growth in both spending by SMEs and demand from SMEs for MSPs to provide oversight, management and security of their IT systems and devices. If this market fails to grow or grows more slowly than we currently anticipate, our results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
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The ability to recruit, retain and develop key employees and management personnel is critical to our success and growth, and our inability to attract and retain qualified personnel could harm our business.
Our business requires certain expertise and intellectual capital, particularly within our management team. We rely on our management team in the areas of operations, security, marketing, sales, support and general and administrative functions. The loss of one or more of our members of the management team could have a material adverse effect on our business.
For us to compete successfully and grow, we must retain, recruit and develop key personnel who can provide the needed expertise for our industry and solutions. As we move into new geographic areas, we will need to attract, recruit and retain qualified personnel in those locations. In addition, acquisitions could cause us to lose key personnel of the acquired businesses. The market for qualified personnel is competitive, and we may not succeed in retaining or recruiting key personnel or may fail to effectively replace current key personnel who depart with qualified or effective successors. We believe that replacing our key personnel with qualified successors is particularly challenging as we feel that our business model and approach to marketing and selling our solutions are unique. Any successors that we hire from outside of the company would likely be unfamiliar with our business model and may therefore require significant time to understand and appreciate the important aspects of our business or fail to do so altogether. Our effort to retain and develop personnel may also result in significant additional expenses, including stock-based compensation expenses, which could adversely affect our profitability. New regulations and volatility or lack of performance in our stock price could also affect the value of our equity awards, which could affect our ability to attract and retain our key employees. We cannot provide assurances that key personnel, including our executive officers, will continue to be employed by us or that we will be able to attract and retain qualified personnel in the future. Failure to retain or attract key personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business.
If we cannot maintain our corporate culture as we grow, our business may be harmed.
We believe that our corporate culture has been a critical component to our success and that our culture creates an environment that drives our employees and perpetuates our overall business strategy. We have invested substantial time and resources in building our team and we expect to continue to hire aggressively as we expand, including with respect to our international operations. As we grow and mature as a public company and grow further internationally, we may find it difficult to maintain the parts of our corporate culture that have led to our success. Any failure to preserve our culture could negatively affect our future success, including our ability to recruit and retain personnel and effectively focus on and pursue our business strategy.
Adverse economic conditions may negatively affect our business.
Our business depends on the overall demand for information technology and on the economic health of our current and prospective MSP partners and their SME customers. Any significant weakening of the economy in the United States, EMEA, APAC and of the global economy, more limited availability of credit, a reduction in business confidence and activity, decreased government spending, economic uncertainty and other difficulties may affect one or more of the sectors or countries in which we sell our solutions. Global economic and political uncertainty may cause some of our MSP partners or potential MSP partners, or their SME customers, to curtail spending generally or IT management spending specifically, and may ultimately result in new regulatory and cost challenges to our international operations. In addition, a strong dollar could reduce demand for our solutions in countries with relatively weaker currencies. These adverse conditions could result in reductions in subscriptions, reduction of consumption of our services, longer sales cycles, slower adoption of new technologies and increased price competition. Any of these events could have an adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial position.
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Material defects or errors in our solutions could harm our reputation, result in significant costs to us and impair our ability to sell our solutions.
Software solutions are inherently complex and often contain defects and errors when first introduced or when new versions are released. Any defects or errors in our solutions could result in:
lost or delayed market acceptance and sales of our solutions;
a reduction in subscription or maintenance renewals;
diversion of development resources;
legal claims; and
injury to our reputation and our brand.
When faced with defects or errors, we will need to provide high-quality support to our MSP partners during remediation efforts. If our MSP partners are dissatisfied with our support or we otherwise fail to handle complaints effectively, our brand and reputation may suffer. The costs incurred in correcting or remediating the impact of defects or errors in our solutions may be substantial and could adversely affect our operating results.
The success of our business depends on our ability to obtain, maintain, protect and enforce our intellectual property rights.
Our success depends, in part, on our ability to protect proprietary methods and technologies that we develop or license so that we can prevent others from using our inventions and proprietary information. If we fail to protect our intellectual property rights adequately, our competitors might gain access to our technology and our business might be adversely affected. However, protecting and enforcing our intellectual property rights might entail significant expenses. Any of our intellectual property rights may be challenged by others, weakened or invalidated through administrative process or litigation. We rely primarily on a combination of patent, copyright, trademark, trade dress, unfair competition and trade secret laws, as well as confidentiality procedures and contractual restrictions, to establish and protect our proprietary rights. These laws, procedures and restrictions provide only limited protection.
As of December 31, 2020, we had six issued patents. The process of obtaining patent protection is expensive and time-consuming and we may not be able to prosecute all necessary or desirable patent applications at a reasonable cost or in a timely manner. Even if issued, there can be no assurance that these patents, or our existing patents, will adequately protect our intellectual property, as the legal standards relating to the validity, enforceability and scope of protection of patent and other intellectual property rights are uncertain. Our patents and any future patents issued to us may be challenged, invalidated or circumvented, and may not provide sufficiently broad protection or may not prove to be enforceable in actions against alleged infringers. Any patents that are issued may subsequently be invalidated or otherwise limited, allowing other companies to develop offerings that compete with ours, which could adversely affect our competitive business position, business prospects and financial condition. In addition, issuance of a patent does not guarantee that we have a right to practice the patented invention. Patent applications in the United States are typically not published until 18 months after filing or, in some cases, not at all, and publications of discoveries in industry-related literature lag behind actual discoveries. We cannot be certain that third parties do not have blocking patents that could be used to prevent us from marketing or practicing our patented software or technology.
We endeavor to enter into agreements with our employees and contractors and with parties with which we do business in order to limit access to and disclosure of our trade secrets and other proprietary information. We cannot be certain that the steps we have taken will prevent unauthorized use, misappropriation or reverse engineering of our technology. Moreover, others may independently develop technologies that are competitive to ours and may infringe our intellectual property. The enforcement of our intellectual property rights also depends on our legal actions against these infringers being successful, but these actions may not be successful, even when our rights have been infringed. Further, any litigation, whether or not resolved in our favor, could be costly and time-consuming.
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Our exposure to risks related to the protection of intellectual property may be increased in the context of acquired technologies as we have a lower level of visibility into the development process and the actions taken to establish and protect proprietary rights in the acquired technology. In connection with past acquisitions, we have found that some associated intellectual property rights, such as domain names and trademarks in certain jurisdictions, are owned by resellers, distributors or other third parties. In the past, we have experienced difficulties in obtaining assignments of these associated intellectual property rights from third parties.
Furthermore, effective patent, trademark, trade dress, copyright and trade secret protection may not be available in every country in which our solutions are available. The laws of some foreign countries may not be as protective of intellectual property rights as those in the United States (in particular, some foreign jurisdictions do not permit patent protection for software), and mechanisms for enforcement of intellectual property rights may be inadequate. In addition, the legal standards, both in the United States and in foreign countries, relating to the validity, enforceability and scope of protection of intellectual property rights are uncertain and still evolving. Accordingly, despite our efforts, we may be unable to prevent third parties from infringing upon or misappropriating our intellectual property.
We might be required to spend significant resources to monitor and protect our intellectual property rights. We may initiate claims or litigation against third parties for infringement of our proprietary rights or to establish the validity of our proprietary rights. Litigation also puts our patents at risk of being invalidated or interpreted narrowly and our patent applications at risk of not issuing. Additionally, we may provoke third parties to assert counterclaims against us. We may not prevail in any lawsuits that we initiate, and the damages or other remedies awarded, if any, may not be commercially viable. Any litigation, whether or not resolved in our favor, could result in significant expense to us and divert the efforts of our technical and management personnel, which may adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Acquisitions present many risks that could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
In order to expand our business and functionality of our platform, we have previously made several acquisitions and expect to continue making similar acquisitions and possibly larger acquisitions as part of our growth strategy. The success of our future growth strategy will depend on our ability to identify, negotiate, complete and integrate acquisitions and, if necessary, to obtain satisfactory debt or equity financing to fund those acquisitions. Acquisitions are inherently risky and any acquisitions we complete may not be successful. Our past acquisitions and any mergers and acquisitions that we may undertake in the future involve numerous risks, including, but not limited to, the following:
difficulties in integrating and managing the operations, personnel, systems, technologies and solutions of the companies we acquire;
diversion of our management’s attention from normal daily operations of our business;
our inability to maintain the key business relationships and the reputations of the businesses we acquire;
uncertainty of entry into markets in which we have limited or no prior experience and in which competitors have stronger market positions;
our dependence on unfamiliar affiliates, resellers, distributors and partners of the companies we acquire;
our inability to increase revenue from an acquisition for a number of reasons, including our failure to drive demand in our existing partner base for acquired solutions and our failure to obtain sales from customers of the acquired businesses;
increased costs related to acquired operations and continuing support and development of acquired solutions;
liabilities or adverse operating issues, or both, of the businesses we acquire that we fail to discover through due diligence or the extent of which we underestimate prior to the acquisition;
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potential goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges and amortization associated with acquired businesses;
adverse tax consequences associated with acquisitions;
changes in how we are required to account for our acquisitions under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, including arrangements that we assume from an acquisition;
potential negative perceptions of our acquisitions by MSP partners, financial markets or investors;
failure to obtain required approvals from governmental authorities under competition and antitrust laws on a timely basis, if at all, which could, among other things, delay or prevent us from completing a transaction, or otherwise restrict our ability to realize the expected financial or strategic goals of an acquisition;
potential increases in our interest expense, leverage and debt service requirements if we incur additional debt to pay for an acquisition;
our inability to apply and maintain our internal standards, controls, procedures and policies to acquired businesses; and
potential loss of key employees of the companies we acquire.
Additionally, acquisitions or asset purchases made entirely or partially for cash may reduce our cash reserves or require us to incur additional debt under our credit facility or otherwise. We may seek to obtain additional cash to fund an acquisition by selling equity or debt securities. We may be unable to secure the equity or debt funding necessary to finance future acquisitions on terms that are acceptable to us. If we finance acquisitions by issuing equity or convertible debt securities, our existing stockholders will experience ownership dilution.
The occurrence of any of these risks could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows, particularly in the case of a larger acquisition or substantially concurrent acquisitions.
Exposure related to any future litigation could adversely affect our results of operations, profitability and cash flows.
From time to time, we have been and may be involved in various legal proceedings and claims arising in our ordinary course of business. At this time, neither we nor any of our subsidiaries is a party to, and none of our respective property is the subject of, any material legal proceeding. However, the outcomes of legal proceedings and claims brought against us are subject to significant uncertainty. Future litigation may result in a diversion of management’s attention and resources, significant costs, including monetary damages and legal fees, and injunctive relief, and may contribute to current and future stock price volatility. No assurance can be made that future litigation will not result in material financial exposure or reputational harm, which could have a material adverse effect upon our results of operations, profitability or cash flows.
In particular, the software and technology industries are characterized by the existence of a large number of patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets and by frequent litigation based on allegations of infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights. We have received, and from time to time may receive, letters claiming that our solutions infringe or may infringe the patents or other intellectual property rights of others. As we face increasing competition and as our brand awareness increases, the possibility of additional intellectual property rights claims against us grows. Our technologies may not be able to withstand any third-party claims or rights against their use. Additionally, we have licensed from other parties proprietary technology covered by patents and other intellectual property rights, and these patents or other intellectual property rights may be challenged, invalidated or circumvented. These types of claims could harm our relationships with our MSP partners, might deter future MSP partners from acquiring our solutions or could expose us to litigation with respect to these claims. Even if we are not a party to any litigation between a customer and a third party, an adverse outcome in that litigation could make it more difficult for us to defend our intellectual property in any subsequent litigation in which we are named as a party. Any of these results would have a negative effect on our business and operating results.
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Any intellectual property rights claim against us or our MSP partners, with or without merit, could be time-consuming and expensive to litigate or settle and could divert management resources and attention. As a result of any successful intellectual property rights claim against us or our MSP partners, we might have to pay damages or stop using technology found to be in violation of a third party’s rights, which could prevent us from offering our solutions to our MSP partners. We could also have to seek a license for the technology, which might not be available on reasonable terms, might significantly increase our cost of revenue or might require us to restrict our business activities in one or more respects. The technology also might not be available for license to us at all. As a result, we could also be required to develop alternative non-infringing technology or cease to offer a particular solutions, which could require significant effort and expense and/or hurt our revenue and financial results of operations.
Our exposure to risks associated with the use of intellectual property may be increased as a result of our past and any future acquisitions as we have a lower level of visibility into the development process with respect to acquired technology or the care taken to safeguard against infringement risks. Third parties may make infringement and similar or related claims after we have acquired technology that had not been asserted prior to our acquisition.
Our use of open source software could negatively affect our ability to sell our offerings and subject us to possible litigation.
Some of our offerings incorporate open source software, and we intend to continue to use open source software in the future. Some terms of certain open source licenses to which we are subject have not been interpreted by U.S. or foreign courts, and there is a risk that open source software licenses could be construed in a manner that imposes unanticipated conditions or restrictions on our ability to monetize our offerings. Additionally, we may from time to time face claims from third parties claiming ownership of, or demanding release of, the open source software or derivative works that we developed using such software, which could include our proprietary source code, or otherwise seeking to enforce the terms of the applicable open source software license. These claims could result in litigation and could require us to make our software source code freely available, purchase a costly license to continue offering the software or cease offering the implicated services unless and until we can re-engineer them to avoid infringement or violation. This re-engineering process could require significant additional research and development resources, and we may not be willing to entertain the cost associated with updating the software or be able to complete it successfully. In addition to risks related to license requirements, use of certain open source software can lead to greater risks than use of third-party commercial software, as open source licensors generally do not provide warranties or controls on the origin of software and, thus, may contain security vulnerabilities or infringing or broken code. Additionally, if we utilize open source licenses that require us to contribute to open source projects, this software code is publicly available; and our ability to protect our intellectual property rights with respect to such software source code may be limited or lost entirely. We may be unable to prevent our competitors or others from using such contributed software source code. Any of these risks could be difficult to eliminate or manage, and if not addressed, could have a negative effect on our business, operating results and financial condition.
Failure to maintain proper and effective internal controls could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and stock price.
As a public company, we will become subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Act and will be required to prepare our financial statements according to the rules and regulations required by the SEC. In addition, the Exchange Act requires that we file annual, quarterly and current reports. Our failure to prepare and disclose this information in a timely manner or to otherwise comply with applicable law could subject us to penalties under federal securities laws, expose us to lawsuits and restrict our ability to access financing. In addition, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires, among other things, that we establish and maintain effective internal controls and procedures for financial reporting and disclosure purposes. Internal control over financial reporting is complex and may be revised over time to adapt to changes in our business, or changes in applicable accounting rules. We cannot assure you that our internal control over financial reporting will be effective in the future or that a material weakness will not be discovered with respect to a prior period for which we had previously believed that internal controls were effective. If we are not able to maintain or document effective internal control over financial reporting, our independent registered public accounting firm will not be able to certify as to the effectiveness of our internal control over
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financial reporting. While we have been adhering to these laws and regulations as a subsidiary of SolarWinds, after the distribution we will need to demonstrate our ability to manage our compliance with these corporate governance laws and regulations as an independent, public company.
Our actual operating results may differ significantly from information we may provide in the future regarding our financial outlook.
From time to time, we may provide information regarding our financial outlook in our quarterly earnings releases, quarterly earnings conference calls, or otherwise, that represents our management’s estimates as of the date of release. This information regarding our financial outlook, which includes forward-looking statements, will be based on projections, including those related to certain of the factors listed above, prepared by our management. Neither our independent registered public accounting firm nor any other independent expert or outside party will compile or examine the projections nor, accordingly, will any such person express any opinion or any other form of assurance with respect thereto.
These projections will be based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that, while presented with numerical specificity, will be inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, many of which will be beyond our control, and will also be based upon specific assumptions with respect to future business decisions, some of which will change. We intend to state possible outcomes as high and low ranges, which will be intended to provide a sensitivity analysis as variables are changed, but will not be intended to represent that actual results could not fall outside of the suggested ranges. The principal reason that we may in the future release such information is to provide a basis for our management to discuss our business outlook with analysts and investors. We do not accept any responsibility for any projections or reports published by analysts, if any.
Information regarding our financial outlook would be necessarily speculative in nature, and it can be expected that some or all of the assumptions underlying such information furnished by us will not materialize or will vary significantly from actual results. Accordingly, information that we may provide regarding our financial outlook will only be an estimate of what management believes is realizable as of the date of release. Actual results will vary from our financial outlook, and the variations may be material and adverse. In light of the foregoing, investors are urged to consider these factors, not to rely exclusively upon information we may provide regarding our financial outlook in making an investment decision regarding our common stock, and to take such information into consideration only in connection with other information included in our filings filed with or furnished to the SEC, including the “Risk Factors” sections in such filings.
Any failure to implement our operating strategy successfully or the occurrence of any of the events or circumstances set forth under “Risk Factors” in this information statement could result in our actual operating results being different from information we provide regarding our financial outlook, and those differences might be adverse and material.
Changes in financial accounting standards or practices may cause adverse, unexpected financial reporting fluctuations and affect our reported results of operations.
A change in accounting standards or practices can have a significant effect on our reported results and may even affect our reporting of transactions completed before the change is effective. New accounting pronouncements and varying interpretations of accounting pronouncements have occurred and may occur in the future. Changes to existing rules or the questioning of current practices may adversely affect our reported financial results or the way in which we conduct our business.
Risks Related to Cybersecurity
Cyberattacks, including the Cyber Incident, and other security incidents have resulted, and in the future may result, in compromises or breaches of our, our MSP partners’, or their SME customers’ systems, the insertion of malicious code, malware, ransomware or other vulnerabilities into our, our MSP partners’, or their SME customers’ systems, the exploitation of vulnerabilities in our, our MSP partners’, or their SME customers’ environments, the theft or misappropriation of our, our MSP partners’, or their SME customers’ proprietary and
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confidential information, and interference with our, our MSP partners’, or their SME customers’ operations, expose us to legal and other liabilities, result in higher MSP partner and employee attrition and the loss of key personnel, negatively impact our sales, renewals and upgrades and expose us to reputational harm and other serious negative consequences, any or all of which could materially harm our business.
We are heavily dependent on our technology infrastructure to operate our business, and our MSP partners rely on our solutions to help manage and secure their IT infrastructure and environments, and that of their SME customers, including the protection of confidential information. Despite our implementation of security measures and controls, our systems, the systems of our third-party service providers upon which we rely, the systems of our MSP partners and the virtualized systems of our MSP partners, as well as the information that those systems store and process are vulnerable to attack from numerous threat actors, including sophisticated nation-state and nation-state-supported actors (including advanced persistent threat intrusions). Threat actors may be able to compromise our security measures or otherwise exploit vulnerabilities in our systems, including vulnerabilities that may have been introduced through the actions of our employees or contractors or defects in design or manufacture of our products and systems or the products and systems that we procure from third parties. In doing so, they may be able to breach or compromise our IT systems, including those which we use to design, develop, deploy and support our products, and misappropriate proprietary and confidential information, including our source code, introduce malware, ransomware or vulnerabilities into our products and systems and create system disruptions or shutdowns. By virtue of the role our products play in helping to manage and secure the environments and systems of our MSP partners and their SME customers, attacks on our systems and products can result in similar impacts on our MSP partners’ and their SME customers’ systems and data.
Cybersecurity has become increasingly important to our MSP partners as their SME customers experience increased security threats while more of their workforce works remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Larger volumes of remote devices are connecting to SMEs’ networks driving increased vulnerability and incidences of ransomware and phishing attacks are growing, making security a high priority for SMEs. The potential impact of cybersecurity breaches or incidents affecting MSP partners’ remote monitoring of multiple SME customers’ networks and devices is significant.
Moreover, the number and scale of cyberattacks have continued to increase and the methods and techniques used by threat actors, including sophisticated “supply-chain” attacks such as the Cyber Incident, continue to evolve at a rapid pace. As a result, we may be unable to identify current attacks, anticipate these attacks or implement adequate security measures. We may also experience security breaches that may remain undetected for an extended period and, therefore, have a greater impact on our solutions, our proprietary data or the data of our MSP partners or their SME customers, and ultimately on our business. In addition, our ability to defend against and mitigate cyberattacks depends in part on prioritization decisions that we and third parties upon whom we rely make to address vulnerabilities and security defects. While we endeavor to address all identified vulnerabilities in our products, we must make determinations as to how we prioritize developing and deploying the respective fixes and we may be unable to do so prior to an attack. Likewise, even once a vulnerability has been addressed, for certain of our products, the fix will only be effective once an MSP partner has updated the impacted product with the latest release, and MSP partners that do not install and run the remediated versions of our products, and their SME customers, may remain vulnerable to attack.
Cyberattacks, including the Cyber Incident, and other security incidents have resulted, and in the future may result, in numerous risks and adverse consequences to our business, including that (a) our prevention, mitigation and remediation efforts may not be successful or sufficient, (b) our and our customers’ confidential and proprietary information, including source code and personal information, may be exfiltrated, misappropriated, compromised or corrupted, (c) we incur significant financial, legal, reputational and other harms to our business, including, loss of business, decreased sales, severe reputational damage adversely affecting current and prospective customer, employee or vendor relations and investor confidence, U.S. or foreign regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, litigation, indemnity obligations, damages for contractual breach, penalties for violation of applicable laws or regulations, including laws and regulations in the United States and other jurisdictions relating to the collection, use and security of user and other personally identifiable information and data, significant costs for remediation, impairment of our ability to protect our intellectual property, stock price volatility and other significant liabilities, (d) our insurance coverage, including coverage relating to certain security and privacy damages and claim expenses,
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may not be available or sufficient to compensate for all liabilities we incur related to these matters or that we may face increased costs to obtain and maintain insurance in the future, and (e) our steps to secure our internal environment, adapt and enhance our software development and build environments and ensure the security and integrity of the solutions that we deliver to our MSP partners may not be successful or sufficient to protect against threat actors or cyberattacks. We have incurred and expect to continue to incur significant expenses related to our cybersecurity initiatives, including costs that we are incurring as part of developing our own security infrastructure in connection with the separation.
The Cyber Incident has had and may continue to have an adverse effect on our business, reputation, MSP partner and employee relations, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
On December 14, 2020, SolarWinds announced that it had been the victim of a cyberattack, or the Cyber Incident, on its Orion Software Platform and internal systems. SolarWinds’ investigation to date revealed that as part of this attack, malicious code, or Sunburst, was injected into builds of SolarWinds’ Orion Software Platform that it released between March 2020 and June 2020. If present and activated in a customer’s IT environment, Sunburst could potentially allow an attacker to compromise the server on which the Orion Software Platform was installed. Based on investigations to date, we have not identified Sunburst in any of our N-able solutions. However, as a result of the Cyber Incident, we are faced with significant risks. As a part of SolarWinds and our prior branding as “SolarWinds MSP,” the Cyber Incident has harmed, and is likely to continue to harm, our reputation, our MSP partner and employee relations and our operations and business as a result of both the impact it has had on our relationships with existing and prospective customers and the significant time and resources that our personnel have had and may have to devote to investigating and responding to the Cyber Incident. Customers have and may in the future defer purchasing or choose to cancel or not renew their agreements or subscriptions with us. We have and expect to continue to expend significant costs and expenses related to the Cyber Incident including in connection with investigations and related initiatives and to address the damage to our reputation and MSP partner and employee relations. If we are unable to maintain the trust of our current and prospective MSP partners and their SME customers, negative publicity continues and/or our personnel continue to have to devote significant time to the Cyber Incident, our business, market share, results of operations and financial condition will be negatively affected.
In addition, the Cyber Incident remains under investigation. While to date these investigations have not identified Sunburst in any of our N-able solutions, the threat actor had access to, and we believe may have exfiltrated source code and other confidential information across, SolarWinds’ environment, of which we were a part. The discovery of new or different information regarding the Cyber Incident, including with respect to its scope and any potential impact on any of our systems, solutions or MSP partners, could increase our costs and liabilities related to the Cyber Incident, expose us to claims, investigations by U.S. federal and state and foreign governmental officials and agencies, civil and criminal litigation, including securities class action and other lawsuits, and other liability, resulting in material remedial and other expenses which may not be covered by insurance, including fines and further damage to our business, reputation, intellectual property, results of operations and financial condition. Any such claims, investigations or lawsuits may result in the incurrence of significant external and internal legal and advisory costs and expenses and reputational damage to our business, as well as the diversion of management’s attention from the operation of our business and a negative impact on our employee morale. We also may not have sufficient coverage for any claims or expenses to the extent that we are covered under SolarWinds’ insurance coverage and may share certain expenses related to the Cyber Incident with SolarWinds in future periods.
The Cyber Incident also may embolden other threat actors to target our systems, which could result in additional harm to our business. Although we have and expect to continue to deploy significant resources as part of our security infrastructure, we cannot ensure that our steps to secure our internal environment, improve our software development and build environments and protect the security and integrity of the solutions that we deliver will be successful to protect against threat actors or cyberattacks or perceived by existing and prospective MSP partners as sufficient to address the harm caused by the Cyber Incident.
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Risks Related to Taxation
Our business and financial performance could be negatively impacted by changes in tax laws or regulations.
New income, sales, use or other tax laws, statutes, rules, regulations or ordinances could be enacted at any time. Further, existing tax laws, statutes, rules, regulations or ordinances could be interpreted, changed, modified or applied adversely to us. Any changes to these existing tax laws could adversely affect our domestic and international business operations and our business and financial performance. Additionally, these events could require us or our MSP partners to pay additional tax amounts on a prospective or retroactive basis, as well as require us or our MSP partners to pay fines and/or penalties and interest for past amounts deemed to be due. If we raise our subscription prices to offset the costs of these changes, existing MSP partners may cancel their subscriptions and potential MSP partners may elect not to purchase our subscriptions. Additionally, new, changed, modified or newly interpreted or applied tax laws could increase our MSP partners’ and our compliance, operating and other costs, as well as the costs of our solutions. Further, these events could decrease the capital we have available to operate our business. Any or all of these events could adversely impact our business and financial performance.
Additionally, the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, or the Tax Act, which was enacted on December 22, 2017, requires complex computations to be performed, significant judgments to be made in the interpretation of the provisions of the Tax Act, significant estimates in calculations and the preparation and analysis of information not previously relevant or regularly produced. The U.S. Treasury Department continues to interpret or issue guidance on how provisions of the Tax Act will be applied or otherwise administered. As additional guidance is issued, we may make adjustments to amounts that we have previously recorded that may materially impact our financial statements in the period in which the adjustments are made.
Additional liabilities related to taxes or potential tax adjustments could adversely impact our business and financial performance.
We are subject to tax and related obligations in various federal, state, local and foreign jurisdictions in which we operate or do business. The taxing rules of the various jurisdictions in which we operate or do business are often complex and subject to differing interpretations. Tax authorities could challenge our tax positions we historically have taken, or intend to take in the future, or may audit the tax filings we have made and assess additional taxes. Tax authorities may also assess taxes in jurisdictions where we have not made tax filings. Any assessments incurred could be material, and may also involve the imposition of substantial penalties and interest. Significant judgment is required in evaluating our tax positions and in establishing appropriate reserves, and the resolutions of our tax positions are unpredictable. The payment of additional taxes, penalties or interest resulting from any assessments could adversely impact our business and financial performance.
Our corporate structure and intercompany arrangements are subject to the tax laws of various jurisdictions, and we could be obligated to pay additional taxes, which would harm our operating results.
Based on our current corporate structure, we may be subject to taxation in several jurisdictions around the world with increasingly complex tax laws, the application of which can be uncertain. The amount of taxes we pay in these jurisdictions could increase substantially as a result of changes in the applicable tax rules, including increased tax rates, new tax laws or revised interpretations of existing tax laws and precedents. In addition, the authorities in these jurisdictions could challenge our methodologies for valuing developed technology or intercompany arrangements, including our transfer pricing. The relevant taxing authorities may determine that the manner in which we operate our business does not achieve the intended tax consequences. If such a disagreement were to occur, and our position were not sustained, we could be required to pay additional taxes, interest and penalties. Such authorities could claim that various withholding requirements apply to us or our subsidiaries or assert that benefits of tax treaties are not available to us or our subsidiaries. Any increase in the amount of taxes we pay or that are imposed on us could increase our worldwide effective tax rate and adversely affect our business and operating results.
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Our operating results may be negatively impacted by the loss of certain tax benefits provided to companies in our industry predominately by the governments of countries in which we have research and development personnel.
Many of the governments of countries in which we have research and development personnel provide us with certain tax benefits related to the employment of such personnel and the activities that they perform. In Belarus, for example, our local subsidiary along with other member technology companies of High-Technologies Park have a full exemption from Belarus income tax and value added tax until 2049 and are taxed at reduced rates on a variety of other taxes. We have similar arrangements with our subsidiaries in Canada and Romania. If these tax benefits are changed, terminated, not extended or comparable new tax incentives are not introduced, we expect that our effective income tax rate and/or our operating expenses could increase significantly, which could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Risks Related to Governmental Regulation
We are subject to various global data privacy and security regulations, which could result in additional costs and liabilities to us.
Our business is subject to a wide variety of local, state, national and international laws, directives and regulations that apply to the collection, use, retention, protection, disclosure, transfer and other processing of personal data. Moreover, because many of the features of our offerings use, store and report on SME data, which may contain personal data, any inability to adequately address privacy concerns, to honor a data subject request, to delete stored data at the relevant times, or to comply with applicable privacy laws, regulations and policies could, even if unfounded, result in liability to us and, damage to our reputation, loss of sales and harm to our business. These data protection and privacy-related laws and regulations continue to evolve and may result in ever-increasing regulatory and public scrutiny and escalating levels of enforcement and sanctions and increased costs of compliance. In the United States, these include rules and regulations promulgated under the authority of the Federal Trade Commission, and state breach notification laws. If we experience a security incident with personal data, we may be required to inform the representative state attorney general or federal or country regulator, media and credit reporting agencies, and any party whose information was stolen, which could harm our reputation and business. Other states and countries have enacted different requirements for protecting personal data collected and maintained electronically. We expect that there will continue to be new proposed laws, regulations and industry standards concerning privacy, data protection and information security in the United States, the European Union and other jurisdictions, and we cannot yet determine the impact such future laws, regulations and standards will have on our business or the businesses of our MSP partners, including, but not limited to, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which came into force in May 2018 and created a range of new compliance obligations, and significantly increased financial penalties for noncompliance. In addition, on July 16, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union, Europe’s highest court, held in the Schrems II case that the E.U.-U.S. Privacy Shield, a mechanism for the transfer of personal data from the European Union to the United States, was invalid, and imposed additional obligations in connection with the use of standard contractual clauses approved by the European Commission. The impact of this decision on the ability to lawfully transfer personal data from the European Union to the United States is being assessed and guidance from European regulators and advisory bodies is awaited. It is possible that the decision will restrict the ability to transfer personal data from the European Union to the United States, and we may, in addition to other impacts, experience additional costs associated with increased compliance burdens, and we, our MSP partners, and their SME customers face the potential for regulators in the European Economic Area (EEA) to apply different standards to the transfer of personal data from the EEA to the United States, and to block, or require ad hoc verification of measures taken with respect to, certain data flows from the EEA to the United States.
Failure to comply with laws concerning privacy, data protection and information security could result in enforcement action against us, including fines, imprisonment of company officials and public censure, claims for damages by our MSP partners, their SME customers, and other affected individuals, damage to our reputation and loss of goodwill (both in relation to existing MSP partners and their SME customers and prospective MSP partners and their SME customers), any of which could have a material adverse effect on our operations, financial performance and business. In addition, we could suffer adverse publicity and loss of customer confidence were it known that we did not take adequate measures to assure the confidentiality of the personal data that our MSP
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partners had given to us. This could result in a loss of MSP partners and revenue that could jeopardize our success. We may not be successful in avoiding potential liability or disruption of business resulting from the failure to comply with these laws and, even if we comply with laws, may be subject to liability because of a security incident. If we were required to pay any significant amount of money in satisfaction of claims under these laws, or any similar laws enacted by other jurisdictions, or if we were forced to cease our business operations for any length of time as a result of our inability to comply fully with any of these laws, our business, operating results and financial condition could be adversely affected. Further, complying with the applicable notice requirements in the event of a security breach could result in significant costs.
Additionally, our business efficiencies and economies of scale depend on generally uniform solutions offerings and uniform treatment of MSP partners across all jurisdictions in which we operate. Compliance requirements that vary significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction impose added costs on our business and can increase liability for compliance deficiencies.
We are subject to governmental export controls and economic sanctions laws that could impair our ability to compete in international markets and subject us to liability if we are not in full compliance with applicable laws.
Certain of our solutions are subject to U.S. export controls, including the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Export Administration Regulations and economic and trade sanctions regulations administered by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. These regulations may limit the export of our solutions and provision of our services outside of the United States, or may require export authorizations, including by license, a license exception or other appropriate government authorizations, including annual or semi-annual reporting and the filing of an encryption registration. Export control and economic sanctions laws may also include prohibitions on the sale or supply of certain of our solutions to embargoed or sanctioned countries, regions, governments, persons and entities. In addition, various countries regulate the importation of certain solutions, through import permitting and licensing requirements, and have enacted laws that could limit our ability to distribute our solutions. The exportation, re-exportation and importation of our solutions and the provision of services, including by our partners, must comply with these laws or else we may be adversely affected, through reputational harm, government investigations, penalties, and a denial or curtailment of our ability to export our solutions or provide services. Complying with export control and sanctions laws may be time consuming and may result in the delay or loss of sales opportunities. If we are found to be in violation of U.S. sanctions or export control laws, it could result in substantial fines and penalties for us and for the individuals working for us. Changes in export or import laws or corresponding sanctions may delay the introduction and sale of our solutions in international markets, or, in some cases, prevent the export or import of our solutions to certain countries, regions, governments, persons or entities altogether, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are also subject to various domestic and international anti-corruption laws, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the U.K. Bribery Act, as well as other similar anti-bribery and anti-kickback laws and regulations. These laws and regulations generally prohibit companies and their employees and intermediaries from authorizing, offering or providing improper payments or benefits to officials and other recipients for improper purposes. Although we take precautions to prevent violations of these laws, our exposure for violating these laws increases as our international presence expands and as we increase sales and operations in foreign jurisdictions.
Government regulation of the Internet and e-commerce is evolving, and unfavorable changes or our failure to comply with regulations could harm our operating results.
As Internet commerce continues to evolve, increasing regulation by federal, state or foreign agencies becomes more likely. In addition to data privacy and security laws and regulations, taxation of solutions and services provided over the Internet or other charges imposed by government agencies or by private organizations for accessing the Internet may also be imposed. Any regulation imposing greater fees for Internet use or restricting information exchange over the Internet could result in a decline in the use of the Internet and the viability of Internet-based services and solutions offerings, which could harm our business and operating results.
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Risks Related to Our Separation from SolarWinds
The separation and the distribution may not be successful.
Upon completion of the separation and the distribution, we will be a stand-alone public company, although we will continue to be controlled by the Lead Sponsors.
In addition, the process of becoming a stand-alone public company may distract our management from focusing on our business and strategic priorities. Further, although we expect to have direct access to the debt and equity capital markets following the separation and distribution, we may not be able to issue debt or equity on terms acceptable to us or at all. Moreover, even with equity compensation tied to our business, we may not be able to attract and retain employees as desired.
We also may not fully realize the intended benefits of being a stand-alone public company if any of the risks identified in this “Risk Factors” section, or other events, were to occur. These intended benefits include improving the strategic and operational flexibility of both companies, increasing the focus of the management teams on their respective business operations, allowing each company to adopt the capital structure, investment policy and dividend policy best suited to its financial profile and business needs, and providing each company with its own equity currency to facilitate acquisitions and to better incentivize management. See the section titled “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Relationship with SolarWinds.” If we do not realize these intended benefits for any reason, our business may be negatively affected. We may be unable to achieve some or all of the benefits that we expect to achieve as an independent company in the time we expect, if at all, for a variety of reasons, including: (i) as an independent, publicly traded company, we may be more susceptible to market fluctuations and other adverse events than if we were still a part of SolarWinds; and (ii) as an independent, publicly traded company, our business is less diversified than SolarWinds’ businesses prior to the separation. If we fail to achieve some or all of the benefits that we expect to achieve as an independent company, or do not achieve them in the time we expect, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
The terms of the agreements that we intend to enter into with SolarWinds in connection with the separation and distribution may limit our ability to take certain actions, which may prevent us from pursuing opportunities to raise capital, acquire other businesses or provide equity incentives to our employees, which could impair our ability to grow.
The terms of the agreements that we intend to enter into with SolarWinds in connection with the separation and distribution, including the separation agreement, may limit our ability to take certain actions, which could impair our ability to grow. In addition, under current laws, prior to the distribution, SolarWinds must retain beneficial ownership of at least 80% of our combined voting power and 80% of each class of nonvoting capital stock, if any is outstanding in order to effect a tax-free distribution of our shares held by SolarWinds to its stockholders. This may result in SolarWinds not supporting transactions that we wish to pursue that involve issuing shares of our capital stock, including for capital-raising purposes, as consideration for an acquisition or as equity incentives to our employees. To preserve the tax-free treatment of the separation and distribution, we intend to agree in the tax matters agreement to restrictions, including restrictions that would be effective during the period following the distribution, that could limit our ability to pursue certain strategic transactions, equity issuances or repurchases or other transactions that we may believe to be in the best interests of our stockholders or that might increase the value of our business. See “—We may not be able to engage in desirable strategic or capital-raising transactions following the distribution.” Our inability to pursue such transactions could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If the distribution, together with certain related transactions, does not qualify as a transaction that is generally tax-free for U.S. federal income tax purposes, SolarWinds, N-able and SolarWinds stockholders could be subject to significant tax liabilities, and, in certain circumstances, we could be required to indemnify SolarWinds for material taxes and other related amounts pursuant to indemnification obligations under the tax matters agreement.
SolarWinds expects to obtain an opinion of tax counsel and tax advisors regarding qualification of the separation and distribution, together with certain related transactions, as a transaction that is generally tax-free for
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U.S. federal income tax purposes under Sections 355 and 368(a)(1)(D) of the Code. The opinion of tax counsel and tax advisors would be based upon and rely on, among other things, certain facts and assumptions, as well as certain representations, statements and undertakings of SolarWinds and us, including those relating to the past and future conduct of SolarWinds and us. If any of these representations, statements or undertakings are, or become, incomplete or inaccurate, or if we or SolarWinds breach any of the respective covenants in any of the separation-related agreements, the opinion of tax counsel and tax advisors could be invalid and the conclusions reached therein could be jeopardized.
Notwithstanding any opinion of tax counsel and tax advisors, the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) could determine that the separation and distribution should be treated as a taxable transaction if it were to determine that any of the facts, assumptions, representations, statements or undertakings upon which any opinion of tax counsel and tax advisors was based were false or had been violated, or if it were to disagree with the conclusions in any opinion of tax counsel and tax advisors. Any opinion of tax counsel and tax advisors would not be binding on the IRS or the courts, and we cannot assure that the IRS or a court would not assert a contrary position. SolarWinds has not requested, and does not intend to request, a ruling from the IRS with respect to the treatment of the distribution or certain related transactions for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
If the separation and distribution were to fail to qualify as a transaction that is generally tax-free for U.S. federal income tax purposes under Sections 355 and 368(a)(1)(D) of the Code, in general, SolarWinds would recognize taxable gain as if it had sold our common stock in a taxable sale for its fair market value, and SolarWinds stockholders who receive shares of our common stock in the distribution would be subject to tax as if they had received a taxable distribution equal to the fair market value of such shares.
We intend to agree in the tax matters agreement to indemnify SolarWinds for any taxes (and any related costs and other damages) resulting from the separation and distribution, and certain other related transactions, to the extent such amounts were to result from (i) an acquisition after the distribution of all or a portion of our equity securities, whether by merger or otherwise (and regardless of whether we participated in or otherwise facilitated the acquisition), (ii) other actions or failures to act by us or (iii) any of the representations or undertakings contained in any of the separation-related agreements or in the documents relating to the opinion of tax counsel and tax advisors being incorrect or violated. Any such indemnity obligations could be material.
We may not be able to engage in desirable strategic or capital-raising transactions following the distribution.
Under current law, a distribution that would otherwise qualify as a tax-free transaction, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, under Section 355 of the Code can be rendered taxable to the parent corporation and its stockholders as a result of certain post-distribution acquisitions of shares or assets of the distributed corporation. For example, such a distribution could result in taxable gain to the parent corporation under Section 355(e) of the Code if the distribution were later deemed to be part of a plan (or series of related transactions) pursuant to which one or more persons acquired, directly or indirectly, shares representing a 50% or greater interest (by vote or value) in the distributed corporation.
To preserve the tax-free treatment of the separation and distribution, and in addition to our expected indemnity obligation described above, we intend to agree in the tax matters agreement to restrictions that address compliance with Section 355 of the Code (including Section 355(e) of the Code). These restrictions could limit our ability to pursue certain strategic transactions, equity issuances or repurchases or other transactions that we believe may be in the best interests of our stockholders or that might increase the value of our business.
We have no operating history as a stand-alone public company, and our historical and pro forma financial information is not necessarily representative of the results we would have achieved as a stand-alone public company and may not be a reliable indicator of our future results.
The historical financial information we have included in this information statement does not reflect, and the pro forma financial information included in this information statement may not reflect, what our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows would have been had we been a stand-alone entity during the historical periods presented, or what our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows will be in the future as an independent entity.
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We derived the historical combined financial information included in this information statement from SolarWinds’ consolidated financial statements, and this information does not necessarily reflect the results of operations and financial position we would have achieved as an independent, publicly traded company during the periods presented, or those that we will achieve in the future. This is primarily because of the following factors:
Prior to the separation and distribution, we operated as part of SolarWinds’ broader organization, and SolarWinds performed various corporate functions for us. Our historical combined financial information reflects allocations of corporate expenses from SolarWinds for these and similar functions. These allocations may not reflect the costs we will incur for similar services in the future as an independent publicly traded company.
We have entered into transactions with SolarWinds that did not exist prior to the separation and distribution, such as SolarWinds’ provision of transition and other services, and undertake indemnification obligations, which have caused us to incur new costs. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Agreements with SolarWinds.”
Our historical combined financial information does not reflect changes that we expect to experience in the future as a result of our separation from SolarWinds, including changes in the financing, cash management, operations, cost structure and personnel needs of our business. As part of SolarWinds, we benefited from SolarWinds’ operating diversity, size, purchasing power, borrowing leverage and available capital for investments that will no longer be accessible after the separation and distribution. As an independent entity, we may be unable to purchase goods, services and technologies, such as insurance and health care benefits and computer software licenses, or access capital markets, on terms as favorable to us as those we obtained as part of SolarWinds prior to the separation and distribution, and our results of operations may be adversely affected. In addition, our historical combined financial data do not include an allocation of interest expense comparable to the interest expenses we will incur as a result of the separation and distribution and related transactions, including interest expenses in connection with the Senior Facility.
Following the separation and distribution, we also face additional costs and demands on management’s time associated with being an independent, publicly traded company, including costs and demands related to corporate governance, investor and public relations and public reporting. While we were profitable as part of SolarWinds, we cannot assure you that our profits will continue at a similar level to historical periods now that we are an independent, publicly traded company. In addition, the pro forma combined financial information included in this information statement includes adjustments based upon available information we believe to be reasonable. However, the assumptions may change and actual results may differ. In addition, we have not made pro forma adjustments to reflect many significant changes that will occur in our cost structure, funding and operations as a result of our transition to becoming a public company, including changes in our employee base, potential increased costs associated with reduced economies of scale and increased costs associated with being a publicly traded, stand-alone company. For additional information about the basis of presentation of our pro forma financial information and historical financial information included in this information statement, see the sections titled “Selected Historical Combined Financial Data” and “Unaudited Pro Forma Combined Financial Statements.”
After the separation and distribution, we will have our first senior management team since being spun off from SolarWinds. If we encounter difficulties in the transition, our business could be negatively impacted.
We have appointed our first senior management team, including our first Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Our future success will partly depend upon our first senior management team’s and other key employees’ effective implementation of our business strategies. Our first management team may require transition time to fully understand all aspects of running our business separate from SolarWinds, and the challenges of running a public company. The transition may be disruptive to, or cause uncertainty in, our business and strategic direction. If we have failures in any aspects of this transition, or the strategies implemented by our management team are not successful, our business could be harmed.
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The assets and resources that we acquire from SolarWinds in the separation may not be sufficient for us to operate as a stand-alone company, and we may experience difficulty in separating our assets and resources from SolarWinds.
Because we have not operated as an independent company in the past, we will need to acquire assets in addition to those contributed by SolarWinds and its subsidiaries to us and our subsidiaries in connection with our separation from SolarWinds. We may also face difficulty in separating our assets from SolarWinds’ assets and integrating newly acquired assets into our business. Our business, financial condition and results of operations could be harmed if we fail to acquire assets that prove to be important to our operations or if we incur unexpected costs in separating our assets from SolarWinds’ assets or integrating newly acquired assets.
The services that SolarWinds provides to us may not be sufficient to meet our needs, which may result in increased costs and otherwise adversely affect our business.
Pursuant to the transition services agreement, we expect SolarWinds to continue to provide us with corporate and shared services for a transitional period related to corporate functions, such as executive oversight, risk management, information technology, accounting, audit, legal, investor relations, tax, treasury, shared facilities, engineering, operations, customer support, human resources and employee benefits, sales and sales operations and other services in exchange for the fees specified in the transition services agreement between us and SolarWinds. SolarWinds will not be obligated to provide these services in a manner that differs from the nature of the services provided to the N-able business during the 12-month period prior to the separation, and thus we may not be able to modify these services in a manner desirable to us as a stand-alone public company. Further, if we no longer receive these services from SolarWinds due to the termination of the transition services agreement or otherwise, we may not be able to perform these services ourselves and/or find appropriate third party arrangements at a reasonable cost (and any such costs may be higher than those charged by SolarWinds). See the section titled “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Relationship with SolarWinds.”
Our ability to operate our business effectively may suffer if we are unable to cost-effectively establish our own administrative and other support functions in order to operate as a stand-alone company after the expiration of our shared services and other intercompany agreements with SolarWinds.
As a business unit of SolarWinds, we relied on administrative and other resources of SolarWinds, including information technology, accounting, finance, human resources and legal services, to operate our business. In connection with the separation, we have entered into various service agreements to retain the ability for specified periods to use these SolarWinds resources. See the section titled “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions.” These services may not be provided at the same level as when we were a business unit within SolarWinds, and we may not be able to obtain the same benefits that we received prior to the separation. These services may not be sufficient to meet our needs, and after our agreements with SolarWinds expire (which will generally occur within 24 months following the completion of the distribution), we may not be able to replace these services at all or obtain these services at prices and on terms as favorable as we currently have with SolarWinds. We will need to create our own administrative and other support systems or contract with third parties to replace SolarWinds’ systems. In addition, we have received informal support from SolarWinds, which may not be addressed in the agreements we have entered into with SolarWinds, and the level of this informal support may diminish as we become a more independent company. Any failure or significant downtime in our own administrative systems or in SolarWinds’ administrative systems during the transitional period could result in unexpected costs, impact our results and/or prevent us from paying our suppliers or employees and performing other administrative services on a timely basis.
After the separation, we will be a smaller company relative to SolarWinds, which could result in increased costs because of a decrease in our purchasing power. We may also experience decreased revenue due to difficulty maintaining existing customer relationships and obtaining new MSP partners.
Prior to the separation, we were able to take advantage of SolarWinds’ size and purchasing power in procuring goods, technology and services, including insurance, employee benefit support and audit and other professional services. We are a smaller company than SolarWinds, and we cannot assure you that we will have access to financial
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and other resources comparable to those available to us prior to the separation. As a stand-alone company, we may be unable to obtain office space, goods, technology and services at prices or on terms as favorable as those available to us prior to the separation, which could increase our costs and reduce our profitability.
No vote of SolarWinds shareholders is required in connection with the separation and distribution.
No vote of SolarWinds shareholders is required in connection with the separation and distribution. Accordingly, if this transaction occurs and you do not want to receive N-able common stock in the distribution, your only recourse will be to divest yourself of your SolarWinds common stock prior to the record date for the distribution or to sell your SolarWinds common stock in the “regular way” market in between the record date and the distribution date. There can be no assurance that the price at which you would sell your SolarWinds common stock in any such situation would be an attractive price or that you would recover your investment in the stock or what you paid for the stock.
Until the separation occurs, SolarWinds has sole discretion to change the terms of the separation and distribution in ways which may be unfavorable to us.
Until the separation and distribution occurs, we will continue to be a subsidiary of SolarWinds. Accordingly, SolarWinds will have the sole and absolute discretion to determine and change the terms of the separation and distribution, including the establishment of the record date for the distribution and the distribution date. These changes could be unfavorable to us. In addition, SolarWinds may decide at any time not to proceed with the separation and distribution.
The combined post-separation value of          shares of SolarWinds common stock and       shares of N‑able common stock may not equal or exceed the pre-distribution value of a share of SolarWinds common stock.
As a result of the distribution, SolarWinds expects the trading price of shares of SolarWinds common stock immediately following the distribution to be lower than the “regular-way” trading price of such shares immediately prior to the distribution because the trading price will no longer reflect the value of the N-able business held by N‑able. There can be no assurance that the aggregate market value of          shares of SolarWinds common stock and          shares of N-able common stock following the separation will be higher than the market value of a share of SolarWinds common stock if the separation and distribution did not occur.
If SolarWinds experiences a change in control, our current plans and strategies could be subject to change.
As long as SolarWinds controls us, it will have significant influence over our plans and strategies, including strategies relating to marketing and growth. In the event SolarWinds experiences a change in control, a new SolarWinds owner may attempt to cause us to revise or change our plans and strategies, as well as the agreements between SolarWinds and us, described in this prospectus. A new owner may also have different plans with respect to the contemplated distribution of our common stock to SolarWinds stockholders, including not effecting such a distribution.
SolarWinds has agreed to indemnify us, and we have agreed to indemnify SolarWinds, for certain liabilities. Claims for indemnification by SolarWinds, or a failure by SolarWinds to provide sufficient indemnification to us, could negatively impact our business, results of operations and financial position.
Pursuant to the master separation agreement and certain other agreements with SolarWinds, SolarWinds has agreed to indemnify us, and we have agreed to indemnify SolarWinds, for certain liabilities. Claims for indemnification by SolarWinds could have negative consequences for our financial position. In addition, third parties could also seek to hold us responsible for any of the liabilities that SolarWinds has agreed to retain, and we cannot assure that an indemnity from SolarWinds will be sufficient to protect us against the full amount of such liabilities, or that SolarWinds will be able to fully satisfy its indemnification obligations in the future. Even if we ultimately succeed in recovering from SolarWinds any amounts for which we are held liable, we may be temporarily required to bear these losses. Each of these risks could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
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Certain contracts used in our business will need to be replaced, or assigned from SolarWinds or its affiliates to N‑able in connection with the separation, which may require the consent of the counterparty to such an assignment, and failure to obtain such replacement contracts or consents could increase N-able’s expenses or otherwise adversely affect our results of operations.
Our separation from SolarWinds requires us to replace shared contracts and, with respect to certain contracts that are to be assigned from SolarWinds or its affiliates to us or our affiliates, to obtain consents and assignments from third parties. It is possible that, in connection with the replacement or consent process, some parties may seek more favorable contractual terms from N-able. If we are unable to obtain such replacement contracts or consents, as applicable, we may be unable to obtain some of the benefits, assets and contractual commitments that are intended to be allocated to N-able as part of the separation. If N-able is unable to obtain such replacement contracts or consents, the loss of these contracts could increase N-able’s expenses or otherwise materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Some of our directors and executive officers own SolarWinds common stock, restricted shares of SolarWinds common stock or options to acquire SolarWinds common stock and hold positions with SolarWinds, which could cause conflicts of interest, or the appearance of conflicts of interest, that result in our not acting on opportunities we otherwise may have.
Some of our directors and executive officers own SolarWinds common stock, restricted shares of SolarWinds stock or options to purchase SolarWinds common stock. Ownership of SolarWinds common stock, restricted shares of SolarWinds common stock and options to purchase SolarWinds common stock by our directors and executive officers after the separation and the presence of executive officers or directors of SolarWinds on our board of directors could create, or appear to create, conflicts of interest with respect to matters involving both us and SolarWinds that could have different implications for SolarWinds than they do for us. For example, potential conflicts of interest could arise in connection with the resolution of any dispute between SolarWinds and us regarding terms of the agreements governing the separation and the relationship between SolarWinds and us thereafter, including the master separation agreement, the employee matters agreement, the tax matters agreement or the transition services agreement. Potential conflicts of interest could also arise if we enter into commercial arrangements with SolarWinds in the future. As a result of these actual or apparent conflicts of interest, we may be precluded from pursuing certain growth initiatives.
We may have received better terms from unaffiliated third parties than the terms we will receive in the agreements that we intend to enter into with SolarWinds
The agreements that we intend to enter into with SolarWinds in connection with the separation, including the separation agreement, the transition services agreement, the intellectual property agreement, the tax matters agreement and the employee matters agreement with respect to SolarWinds’ continuing ownership of our common stock, were prepared in the context of the separation while we were still a wholly owned subsidiary of SolarWinds. See the section titled “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Relationship with SolarWinds.” Accordingly, during the period in which the terms of those agreements were prepared, we did not have an independent board of directors or a management team that was independent of SolarWinds. As a result, the terms of those agreements may not reflect terms that would have resulted from arm’s-length negotiations between unaffiliated third parties.
The allocation of intellectual property rights and data between SolarWinds and us as part of the separation and distribution, the shared use of certain intellectual property rights and data following the separation and distribution and restrictions on the use of intellectual property rights, could adversely impact our reputation, our ability to enforce certain intellectual property rights and our competitive position.
In connection with the separation and distribution, we will enter into agreements with SolarWinds governing the allocation of intellectual property rights and data related to our business. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Agreements with SolarWinds—Intellectual Property Matters Agreement.” These agreements include restrictions on our use of SolarWinds’ intellectual property rights and data licensed to us, including limitations on the field of use in which we can exercise our license rights. Moreover, the licenses granted to us under
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SolarWinds’ intellectual property rights and data are non-exclusive, so SolarWinds may be able to license the rights and data to third parties that may compete with us. These agreements could adversely affect our position and options relating to intellectual property enforcement, licensing negotiations and monetization and access to data used in our business. We also may not have sufficient rights to grant sublicenses of intellectual property or data used in our business, and we may be subject to third party rights pertaining to the underlying intellectual property or data. These circumstances could adversely affect our ability to protect our competitive position in the industry and otherwise adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock
The requirements of being a public company, including compliance with the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the requirements of the NYSE, may strain our resources, increase our costs and distract management, and we may be unable to comply with these requirements in a timely or cost-effective manner.
As a public company, we will need to comply with new laws, regulations and requirements, certain corporate governance provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, related regulations of the SEC and the requirements of the NYSE, with which we are not required to comply as a private company. Complying with these statutes, regulations and requirements will occupy a significant amount of time of our board of directors and management and will significantly increase our costs and expenses. We will need to:
institute a more comprehensive compliance function;
comply with rules promulgated by the NYSE;
prepare and distribute periodic public reports in compliance with our obligations under the federal securities laws;
establish new internal policies, such as those relating to insider trading; and
involve and retain to a greater degree outside counsel and accountants in the above activities.
Furthermore, while we generally must comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for the year ending December 31, 2021, we are not required to have our independent registered public accounting firm attest to the effectiveness of our internal controls until our first annual report subsequent to our ceasing to be an emerging growth company. Accordingly, we may not be required to have our independent registered public accounting firm attest to the effectiveness of our internal controls until as late as our annual report for the year ending December 31, 2026. Once it is required to do so, our independent registered public accounting firm may issue a report that is adverse in the event it is not satisfied with the level at which our controls are documented, designed, operated or reviewed. Compliance with these requirements may strain our resources, increase our costs and distract management, and we may be unable to comply with these requirements in a timely or cost-effective manner.
In addition, we expect that being a public company subject to these rules and regulations may make it more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance and we may be required to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. As a result, it may be more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified individuals to serve on our board of directors or as executive officers. We are currently evaluating these rules, and we cannot predict or estimate the amount of additional costs we may incur or the timing of such costs.
There has been no prior public trading market for our common stock, and an active trading market may not develop or be sustained.
We intend to apply to list our common stock on the NYSE under the symbol “NABL.” However, there has been no prior public trading market for our common stock. We cannot assure you that an active trading market for our common stock will develop on such exchange or elsewhere or, if developed, that any market will be sustained.
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Accordingly, we cannot assure you of the liquidity of any trading market, your ability to sell your shares of our common stock when desired or the prices that you may obtain for your shares of our common stock.
The trading price of our common stock could be volatile, which could cause the value of your investment to decline.
Technology stocks have historically experienced high levels of volatility. The trading price of our common stock following the distribution may fluctuate substantially. Following the completion of the distribution, the market price of our common stock may be higher or lower than the price you pay for our common stock, depending on many factors, some of which are beyond our control and may not be related to our operating performance. These fluctuations could cause you to lose all or part of your investment in our common stock. Factors that could cause fluctuations in the trading price of our common stock include the following:
announcements of new solutions or technologies, commercial relationships, acquisitions or other events by us or our competitors;
changes in how MSP partners perceive the benefits of our offerings;
changes in subscription revenue from quarter to quarter;
departures of key personnel;
price and volume fluctuations in the overall stock market from time to time;
fluctuations in the trading volume of our shares or the size of our public float;
sales of large blocks of our common stock, including sales by our Sponsors;
actual or anticipated changes or fluctuations in our operating results;
whether our operating results meet the expectations of securities analysts or investors;
changes in actual or future expectations of investors or securities analysts;
litigation involving us, our industry or both;
regulatory developments in the United States, foreign countries or both;
general economic conditions and trends;
major catastrophic events in our domestic and foreign markets; and
“flash crashes,” “freeze flashes” or other glitches that disrupt trading on the securities exchange on which we are listed.
In addition, if the market for technology stocks or the stock market in general experiences a loss of investor confidence, the trading price of our common stock could decline for reasons unrelated to our business, operating results or financial condition. The trading price of our common stock might also decline in reaction to events that affect other companies in our industry even if these events do not directly affect us. In the past, following periods of volatility in the trading price of a company’s securities, securities class-action litigation has often been brought against that company. If our stock price is volatile, we may become the target of securities litigation. Securities litigation could result in substantial costs and divert our management’s attention and resources from our business. This could have an adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition.
If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or publish misleading or unfavorable research about our business, our stock price and trading volume could decline.
The trading market for our common stock will depend in part on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. We do not currently have and may never obtain research
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coverage for our common stock. If there is no research coverage of our common stock, the trading price for shares of our common stock may be negatively impacted. If we obtain research coverage for our common stock and if one or more of the analysts downgrades our stock or publishes misleading or unfavorable research about our business, our stock price would likely decline. If one or more of the analysts ceases coverage of our common stock or fails to publish reports on us regularly, demand for our common stock could decrease, which could cause our common stock price or trading volume to decline.
Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock in the public markets, or the perception that such sales could occur, could reduce the market price of our common stock.
Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market after the distribution, or the perception that such sales could occur, could adversely affect the market price of our common stock and may make it more difficult for you to sell your common stock at a time and price that you deem appropriate. Based on the total number of outstanding shares of our common stock as of December 31, 2020, upon the completion of the distribution, we will have approximately                  shares of common stock outstanding. All of the shares of common stock distributed to our stockholders as a part of the distribution will be freely tradable without restrictions or further registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, except for any shares held by our “affiliates” as defined in Rule 144 under the Securities Act.  We will grant registration rights to the Sponsors with respect to shares of our common stock. Any shares registered pursuant to the registration rights agreement described in the section titled “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions” will be freely tradable in the public market.
Our issuance of additional capital stock in connection with financings, acquisitions, investments, our stock incentive plans or otherwise will dilute all other stockholders.
We may issue additional capital stock in the future that will result in dilution to all other stockholders. We may also raise capital through equity financings in the future. As part of our business strategy, we may acquire or make investments in complementary companies, solutions or technologies and issue equity securities to pay for any such acquisition or investment. Any such issuances of additional capital stock may cause stockholders to experience significant dilution of their ownership interests and the per-share value of our common stock to decline.
We do not intend to pay dividends on our common stock, and consequently, your ability to achieve a return on your investment will depend on appreciation in the price of our common stock.
We do not intend to pay dividends on our common stock after the completion of the distribution. We intend to retain any earnings to finance the operation and expansion of our business, and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. As a result, you may receive a return on your investment in our common stock only if the market price of our common stock increases.
Our restated charter and restated bylaws will contain anti-takeover provisions that could delay or discourage takeover attempts that stockholders may consider favorable.
Our restated charter and restated bylaws will contain provisions that could delay or prevent a change in control of our company. These provisions could also make it difficult for stockholders to elect directors who are not nominated by the current members of our board of directors or take other corporate actions, including effecting changes in our management. These provisions include:
a classified board of directors with three-year staggered terms, which could delay the ability of stockholders to change the membership of a majority of our board of directors;
after the Sponsors no longer continue to beneficially own, in the aggregate, at least      % of the outstanding shares of our common stock, removal of directors only for cause;
the ability of our board of directors to issue shares of preferred stock and to determine the price and other terms of those shares, including preferences and voting rights, without stockholder approval, which could be used to significantly dilute the ownership of a hostile acquirer;
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subject to the rights of the Sponsors under the stockholders’ agreement, allowing only our board of directors to fill vacancies on our board of directors, which prevents stockholders from being able to fill vacancies on our board of directors;
after the Sponsors no longer continue to beneficially own, in the aggregate, at least       % of the outstanding shares of our common stock, a prohibition on stockholder action by written consent, which forces stockholder action to be taken at an annual or special meeting of our stockholders;
after the Sponsors no longer continue to beneficially own, in the aggregate, at least       % of the outstanding shares of our common stock, our stockholders may not take action by written consent but may take action only at annual or special meetings of our stockholders. As a result, a holder controlling a majority of our capital stock would not be able to amend our bylaws or remove directors without holding a meeting of our stockholders called in accordance with our bylaws;
after the Sponsors no longer continue to beneficially own, in the aggregate, at least      % of the outstanding shares of our common stock, the requirement for the affirmative vote of holders of at least      % of the voting power of all of the then-outstanding shares of the voting stock, voting together as a single class, to amend the provisions of our restated charter relating to the management of our business (including our classified board structure) or certain provisions of our bylaws, which may inhibit the ability of an acquirer to effect such amendments to facilitate an unsolicited takeover attempt;
the ability of our board of directors to amend the bylaws, which may allow our board of directors to take additional actions to prevent an unsolicited takeover and inhibit the ability of an acquirer to amend the bylaws to facilitate an unsolicited takeover attempt;
advance notice procedures with which stockholders must comply to nominate candidates to our board of directors or to propose matters to be acted upon at a stockholders’ meeting, which may discourage or deter a potential acquirer from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect the acquirer’s own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us; and
a prohibition of cumulative voting in the election of our board of directors, which would otherwise allow less than a majority of stockholders to elect director candidates.
Our restated charter will also contain a provision that provides us with protections similar to Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, or the DGCL, and prevents us from engaging in a business combination, such as a merger, with an interested stockholder (i.e., a person or group that acquires at least 15% of our voting stock) for a period of three years from the date such person became an interested stockholder, unless (with certain exceptions) the business combination or the transaction in which the person became an interested stockholder is approved in a prescribed manner. However, our restated charter will also provide that the Sponsors, including the Silver Lake Funds and the Thoma Bravo Funds and any persons to whom any Silver Lake Fund or Thoma Bravo Fund or any of their respective affiliates sells its common stock, will not constitute “interested stockholders” for purposes of this provision.
After the distribution, the Lead Sponsors will have a controlling influence over matters requiring stockholder approval.
After giving effect to the completion of the distribution, the Sponsors would have beneficially owned in the aggregate approximately              % of our common stock as of December 31, 2020. The Sponsors have entered into a stockholders’ agreement whereby they each agreed, among other things, to vote the shares each beneficially owns in favor of the director nominees designated by Silver Lake and Thoma Bravo, respectively. As a result, Silver Lake and Thoma Bravo could exert significant influence over our operations and business strategy and would together have sufficient voting power to effectively control the outcome of matters requiring stockholder approval. These matters may include:
the composition of our board of directors, which has the authority to direct our business and to appoint and remove our officers;
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approving or rejecting a merger, consolidation or other business combination;
raising future capital; and
amending our restated charter and restated bylaws, which govern the rights attached to our common stock.
Additionally, for so long as the Sponsors beneficially own, in the aggregate,     % or more of our outstanding shares of common stock, the Sponsors will have the right to designate a majority of our board of directors. For so long as the Sponsors have the right to designate a majority of our board of directors, the directors designated by the Sponsors are expected to constitute a majority of each committee of our board of directors, other than the audit committee, and the chairman of each of the committees, other than the audit committee, is expected to be a director serving on such committee who is designated by the Sponsors. However, as soon as we are no longer a “controlled company” under the NYSE corporate governance standards, our committee membership will comply with all applicable requirements of those standards and a majority of our board of directors will be “independent directors,” as defined under the rules of the NYSE, subject to any phase-in provisions.
This concentration of ownership of our common stock could delay or prevent proxy contests, mergers, tender offers, open-market purchase programs or other purchases of our common stock that might otherwise give you the opportunity to realize a premium over the then-prevailing market price of our common stock. This concentration of ownership may also adversely affect our share price.
Certain of our directors have relationships with the Lead Sponsors, which may cause conflicts of interest with respect to our business.
Following the separation, two of our seven directors will be affiliated with Silver Lake and two will be affiliated with Thoma Bravo. These directors have fiduciary duties to us and, in addition, have duties to the respective Sponsor and their affiliated funds, respectively. As a result, these directors may face real or apparent conflicts of interest with respect to matters affecting both us and the Sponsors, whose interests may be adverse to ours in some circumstances.
The Sponsors and their affiliated funds may pursue corporate opportunities independent of us that could present conflicts with our and our stockholders’ interests.
The Sponsors and their affiliated funds are in the business of making or advising on investments in companies and hold (and may from time to time in the future acquire) interests in or provide advice to businesses that directly or indirectly compete with certain portions of our business or are suppliers or MSP partners of ours. The Sponsors and their affiliated funds may also pursue acquisitions that may be complementary to our business and, as a result, those acquisition opportunities may not be available to us.
Our restated charter will provide that no officer or director of the Company who is also an officer, director, employee, partner, managing director, principal, independent contractor or other affiliate of either of the Sponsors will be liable to us or our stockholders for breach of any fiduciary duty by reason of the fact that any such individual pursues or acquires a corporate opportunity for its own account or the account of an affiliate, as applicable, instead of us, directs a corporate opportunity to any other person instead of us or does not communicate information regarding a corporate opportunity to us.
Following the separation and the distribution, the Sponsors’ ability to control our board of directors may make it difficult for us to recruit high-quality independent directors.
So long as the Sponsors beneficially owns shares of our outstanding common stock representing at least a majority of the votes entitled to be cast by the holders of our outstanding voting stock, they can effectively control and direct our board of directors.
We anticipate that, at the completion of the separation, four members of our board of directors, Messrs. Bingle, Bock, Hoffmann and Widmann, will continue to serve as directors on the SolarWinds board of directors. Further, the interests of SolarWinds and our other stockholders may diverge. Under these circumstances, persons who might otherwise accept our invitation to join our board of directors may decline.
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We may issue preferred stock whose terms could adversely affect the voting power or value of our common stock.
Our restated charter will authorize us to issue, without the approval of our stockholders, one or more classes or series of preferred stock having such designations, preferences, limitations and relative rights, including preferences over our common stock respecting dividends and distributions, as our board of directors may determine. The terms of one or more classes or series of preferred stock could adversely impact the voting power or value of our common stock. For example, we might grant holders of preferred stock the right to elect some number of our directors in all events or on the happening of specified events or the right to veto specified transactions. Similarly, the repurchase or redemption rights or liquidation preferences we might assign to holders of preferred stock could affect the residual value of our common stock.
Our restated charter will designate the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware as the sole and exclusive forum for certain types of actions and proceedings that may be initiated by our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers, employees or agents.
Our restated charter will provide that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, be the sole and exclusive forum for (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers, employees or agents to us or our stockholders, (iii) any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the DGCL, our charter or bylaws, or (iv) any action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine, in each such case subject to such Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware having personal jurisdiction over the indispensable parties named as defendants therein. Any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in shares of our capital stock will be deemed to have notice of, and consented to, the provisions of our restated charter described in the preceding sentence. This exclusive forum provision does not apply to establish the Delaware Court of Chancery as the forum for actions or proceedings brought to enforce a duty or liability created by the Securities Act or the Exchange Act or any other claim for which the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction.
This choice-of-forum provision may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers, employees or agents, which may discourage such lawsuits against us and such persons. Alternatively, if a court were to find these provisions of our restated charter inapplicable to, or unenforceable in respect of, one or more of the specified types of actions or proceedings, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such matters in other jurisdictions, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition or operating results.
For as long as we are an emerging growth company, we will not be required to comply with certain requirements that apply to other public companies.
We qualify as an emerging growth company, as defined in the JOBS Act. For as long as we are an emerging growth company, which may be up to five full fiscal years, we, unlike other public companies, will not be required to, among other things: (i) provide an auditor’s attestation report on management’s assessment of the effectiveness of our system of internal control over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; (ii) comply with any new requirements adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board requiring mandatory audit firm rotation or a supplement to the auditor’s report in which the auditor would be required to provide additional information about the audit and the financial statements of the issuer; (iii) provide certain disclosures regarding executive compensation required of larger public companies; or (iv) hold nonbinding advisory votes on executive compensation and any golden-parachute payments not previously approved. In addition, the JOBS Act provides that an emerging growth company can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act for adopting new or revised financial accounting standards. We intend to take advantage of the longer phase-in periods for the adoption of new or revised financial accounting standards permitted under the JOBS Act until we are no longer an emerging growth company. If we were to subsequently elect instead to comply with these public company effective dates, such election would be irrevocable pursuant to the JOBS Act.
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We will remain an emerging growth company for up to five years, although we will lose that status sooner if we have more than $1.07 billion of revenue in a fiscal year, have more than $700.0 million in market value of our common stock held by non-affiliates, or issue more than $1.0 billion of non-convertible debt over a three-year period.
For so long as we rely on any of the exemptions available to emerging growth companies, you will receive less information about our executive compensation and internal control over financial reporting than issuers that are not emerging growth companies. We cannot predict whether investors will find our common stock less attractive because we will rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our common stock to be less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our common stock and our stock price may be more volatile.
We will be a controlled company within the meaning of the NYSE rules and, as a result, will qualify for and intend to rely on exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements.
Upon the completion of the distribution, the Sponsors will beneficially own a majority of the combined voting power of all classes of our outstanding voting stock. As a result, we will be a controlled company within the meaning of the NYSE corporate governance standards. Under the NYSE rules, a company of which more than 50% of the voting power is held by another person or group of persons acting together is a controlled company and may elect not to comply with certain NYSE corporate governance requirements, including the requirements that:
a majority of the board of directors consist of independent directors as defined under the rules of the NYSE;
the nominating and governance committee be composed entirely of independent directors with a written charter addressing the committee’s purpose and responsibilities; and
the compensation committee be composed entirely of independent directors with a written charter addressing the committee’s purpose and responsibilities.
These requirements will not apply to us as long as we remain a controlled company. Following the completion of the distribution, we intend to take advantage of these exemptions. Accordingly, you may not have the same protections afforded to stockholders of companies that are subject to all of the corporate governance requirements of the NYSE. See “Management—Status As a Controlled Company.”
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Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This information statement, including the sections titled “Summary,” “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Business,” contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements convey our current expectations or forecasts of future events. All statements contained in this information statement, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking. You can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “can,” “continue,” “could,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “plans,” “seeks,” “should,” “will,” or “would” or the negative of these terms or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements contained in this information statement include, but are not limited to, statements about:
Our expectations regarding our plans and strategies to grow our business and expand our market share, including internationally;
Our expectations concerning our solutions offerings and the expansion of these offerings and our market opportunities;
Our expectations regarding our financial condition and results of operations, including revenue, operating expenses and cash flow;
Our expectations regarding our non-U.S. earnings in foreign operations;
Our expectations concerning potential acquisitions and the anticipated benefits of acquisitions;
Our expectations concerning our ability to compete successfully against current and future competitors;
Our market opportunities and our ability to take advantage of such market opportunities, the demand for IT management solutions in various markets, and factors contributing to such demand;
Trends associated with our industry and potential market;
Our sales and marketing efforts and our expectations about the results of those efforts;
Our expectations about our ability to generate and maintain MSP partner loyalty and our ability to manage partner growth;
Our expectations regarding investment plans and capital expenditures;
Our research and development plans;
Our equity compensation plans and practices;
Our future borrowings and our beliefs regarding the sufficiency of our cash and cash equivalents, cash flows from operating activities and borrowing capacity;
Our ability to attract and retain qualified employees and key personnel;
Our ability to protect and defend our intellectual property and not infringe upon others’ intellectual property;
Our ability to defend against and mitigate cyberattacks, such as the Cyber Incident, to our IT systems and those of our MSP partners and their SME customers;
The expected impact of the Cyber Incident on our business and reputation and on our results of operations, liquidity or financial condition;
Our expectations regarding the separation and distribution;
Potential tax liabilities that may arise as a result of the separation or the distribution;
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Operating as an independent publicly traded company, including compliance with applicable laws and regulations;
Our status as an emerging growth company;
Our status as a controlled company, and the possibility that SolarWinds’ or the Sponsors’ interests may conflict with our interests and the interests of our other stockholders;
The effects of future sales, or perceptions of future sales of our common stock and future equity grants; and
Other factors that we discuss in this information statement in the sections titled “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”
There are a number of important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the results anticipated by these forward-looking statements. These important factors include those that we discuss in this information statement in “Risk Factors.” You should read these factors and the other cautionary statements made in this information statement as being applicable to all related forward-looking statements wherever they appear in this information statement. If one or more of these factors materialize, or if any underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual results, performance or achievements may vary materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements represent our management’s beliefs and assumptions only as of the date of this information statement. You should read this information statement and the documents that we have filed as exhibits to the registration statement, of which this information statement is a part, completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from what we expect. We undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
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The Separation and Distribution
Background
On August 6, 2020, SolarWinds announced its intent to explore the separation of its MSP business into a newly-created and separately-traded public company. Following the separation, N-able will provide cloud-based software solutions for MSPs, enabling them to support digital transformation and growth within SMEs. SolarWinds will retain its Core IT Management business focused primarily on providing IT infrastructure management software to corporate IT organizations. SolarWinds announced that it intended to effect the separation through a tax-free, pro rata distribution of the common stock of a new entity formed to hold the assets and liabilities associated with the N-able business.
On          , 2021, the SolarWinds board of directors approved the distribution of the issued and outstanding shares of N-able common stock on the basis of            shares of N-able common stock for every                      shares of SolarWinds common stock held as of the close of business on the record date of            , 2021.
On          , 2021, the distribution date, each SolarWinds stockholder will receive      shares of N-able common stock for every        shares of SolarWinds common stock held at the close of business on the record date for the distribution, as described below. SolarWinds stockholders will receive cash in lieu of any fractional shares of N‑able common stock that they would have received after application of this ratio. You will not be required to make any payment, surrender or exchange your SolarWinds common stock or take any other action to receive your shares of N-able’s common stock in the distribution. The distribution of N-able’s common stock as described in this information statement is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of certain conditions. For a more detailed description of these conditions, see this section under “—Conditions to the Distribution.”
Reasons for the Separation
The SolarWinds board of directors determined that the separation of the N-able business from the remainder of SolarWinds' business would be in the best interests of SolarWinds and its stockholders and approved the plan of separation. A variety of factors were considered by the SolarWinds board of directors in evaluating the separation. The SolarWinds board of directors considered the following potential benefits of the separation:
Enhanced strategic and management focus. The separation will allow N-able and SolarWinds to more effectively pursue their distinct operating priorities and strategies and enable management of both companies to focus on unique opportunities for long-term growth and profitability. The separate management teams of N-able and SolarWinds also will be able to focus on executing the companies’ differing strategic plans without diverting attention from the other business;
More flexibility and efficient allocation of capital. The separation will permit each company to concentrate its financial resources on its own operations without having to compete with each other for investment capital. This will provide each company with greater flexibility to pursue and fund its business plan, including capital expenditures, dividend policies, investments and acquisitions in a time and manner appropriate for its distinct strategy and business needs. The increased financial flexibility resulting from the separation also reflects additional aggregate debt capacity and the belief that investors in a company with the mix of assets that each of N-able and SolarWinds will own following the separation will be more receptive to strategic initiatives that N-able and SolarWinds may respectively pursue;
Distinct investment identity. The separation will allow investors to separately value N-able and SolarWinds based on their distinct investment identities and offer a more focused investment profile to investors. N‑able’s business differs from SolarWinds’ other business in several respects, such as the market for its solutions and services. The separation will enable investors to evaluate the merits, performance and future prospects of each company’s respective businesses and to invest in each company separately based on their distinct characteristics;
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Direct access and capital markets. The separation will create an independent equity structure that will afford N-able direct access to the capital markets and facilitate N-able’s ability to capitalize on its distinct growth opportunities and potentially effect future acquisitions utilizing its common stock; and
Alignment of incentives with performance objectives. The separation will facilitate incentive compensation arrangements for employees more directly tied to the performance of the relevant company’s business and may enhance employee hiring and retention by, among other things, improving the alignment of management and employee incentives with performance and growth objectives.
While all of the bullets above are considered to be benefits to N-able, only the first, second, third and fifth bullets above are considered to be benefits to SolarWinds.
Neither N-able nor SolarWinds can assure you that, following the separation, any of the benefits described above or otherwise will be realized to the extent anticipated or at all.
The SolarWinds board of directors also considered the following potentially negative factors in evaluating the separation:
Loss of joint purchasing power and increased costs. As a current part of SolarWinds, N-able benefits from SolarWinds’ size and purchasing power in procuring certain goods, services and technologies. After the separation, as a separate, independent entity, N-able may be unable to obtain these goods, services and technologies at prices or on terms as favorable as those SolarWinds obtained prior to the separation. N‑able also may incur costs for certain functions previously performed by SolarWinds, such as accounting, tax, legal, human resources and other general administrative functions, that are higher than the amounts reflected in N-able’s historical financial statements, which could cause N-able’s profitability to decrease;
Disruptions to the business as a result of the separation. The actions required to separate N-able’s and SolarWinds’ respective businesses could disrupt N-able’s and SolarWinds’ respective operations;
Increased significance of certain costs and liabilities. Certain costs and liabilities that were otherwise less significant to SolarWinds as a whole may be more significant for N-able and SolarWinds as stand-alone companies;
One-time costs of the separation. N-able will incur costs in connection with the transition to being a stand-alone public company that may include accounting, tax, legal and other professional services costs, recruiting and relocation costs associated with hiring or reassigning N-able personnel, costs related to establishing a new brand identity in the marketplace and costs to separate information systems;
Inability to realize anticipated benefits of the separation. N-able may not achieve the anticipated benefits of the separation for a variety of reasons, including, among others: (i) the separation will require significant amounts of management’s time and effort, which may divert management’s attention from operating and growing N-able’s business; (ii) following the separation, N-able may be more susceptible to market fluctuations and other adverse events than if it were still a part of SolarWinds; and (iii) following the separation, N-able’s business will be less diversified than SolarWinds’ businesses prior to the separation;
Adverse market selling pressure on N-able shares as a result of the separation. N-able’s common stock may come under initial selling pressure as certain SolarWinds stockholders sell their shares in N-able because they are not interested in holding an investment in N-able;
More volatile operating results and cash flow of N-able following the separation. After the separation, N‑able’s results will not reflect the generally more predictable cash flow from SolarWinds’ Core IT Management business, which may result in more volatile and less predictable operating results and cash flow for N-able; and
Limitations placed upon N-able as a result of the tax matters agreement. To preserve the tax-free treatment for U.S. federal income tax purposes to SolarWinds of the distribution, together with certain related transactions, under the tax matters agreement that N-able will enter into with SolarWinds, N-able will be
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restricted from taking any action that prevents such transactions from being tax-free for U.S. federal income tax purposes. These restrictions may limit N-able’s ability to pursue certain strategic transactions or engage in other transactions that might increase the value of its business.
While all of the bullets above are considered to be potentially negative factors to N-able, only the first, second and third bullets above are considered to be potentially negative factors to SolarWinds.
In determining to approve the separation, the SolarWinds board of directors concluded that the potential benefits of the separation outweighed these negative factors.
Formation of a New Company Prior to N-able’s Distribution
N-able was formed as a Delaware limited liability company on November 30, 2020 for the purpose of holding the N-able business. Prior to the distribution, N-able will be converted from a limited liability company to a Delaware corporation. As part of the plan to separate the N-able business from the remainder of its business, SolarWinds plans to transfer the equity interests of certain entities that operate the N-able business and the assets and liabilities of the N-able business to N-able, as set forth in the separation agreement.
When and How You Will Receive the Distribution
With the assistance of our transfer and distribution agent, SolarWinds expects to distribute N-able common stock on     , 2021, the distribution date, to all holders of outstanding shares of SolarWinds common stock as of the close of business on      , 2021, the record date for the distribution. American Stock Transfer & Trust Company will serve as our transfer and distribution agent in connection with the distribution of N-able common stock.
If you own shares of SolarWinds common stock as of the close of business on the record date for the distribution, N-able’s common stock that you are entitled to receive in the distribution will be issued electronically, as of the distribution date, to you in direct registration form or to your bank or brokerage firm on your behalf. If you are a registered holder, our transfer and distribution agent will then mail you a direct registration account statement that reflects your shares of N-able common stock. If you hold your shares through a bank or brokerage firm, your bank or brokerage firm will credit your account for the shares. Direct registration form refers to a method of recording share ownership when no physical share certificates are issued to stockholders, as is the case in this distribution. If you sell shares of SolarWinds common stock in the “regular-way” market up to and including the distribution date, you will be selling your right to receive shares of N-able common stock in the distribution.
Most SolarWinds stockholders hold their common shares through a bank or brokerage firm. In such cases, the bank or brokerage firm would be said to hold the shares in “street name” and ownership would be recorded on the bank or brokerage firm’s books. If you hold your shares of SolarWinds common stock through a bank or brokerage firm, your bank or brokerage firm will credit your account for the N-able common stock that you are entitled to receive in the distribution. If you have any questions concerning the mechanics of having shares held in “street name,” please contact your bank or brokerage firm.
Transferability of Shares You Receive
Shares of N-able common stock distributed to holders in connection with the distribution will be transferable without registration under the Securities Act, except for shares received by persons who may be deemed to be N‑able affiliates. Persons who may be deemed to be N-able affiliates after the distribution generally include individuals or entities that control, are controlled by or are under common control with N-able, which may include certain N-able executive officers, directors or principal stockholders, including the Sponsors. Securities held by N‑able affiliates will be subject to resale restrictions under the Securities Act. N-able affiliates will be permitted to sell shares of N-able common stock only pursuant to an effective registration statement or an exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act, such as the exemption afforded by Rule 144 under the Securities Act.
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Number of Shares of N-able Common Stock You Will Receive
For every      shares of SolarWinds common stock that you own at the close of business on         , 2021, the record date for the distribution, you will receive       shares of N-able common stock on the distribution date.
SolarWinds will not distribute any fractional shares of N-able common stock to its stockholders. Instead, if you are a registered holder, our transfer and distribution agent will aggregate fractional shares into whole shares, sell the whole shares in the open market at prevailing market prices and distribute the aggregate cash proceeds (net of discounts and commissions) of the sales pro rata (based on the fractional share such holder would otherwise be entitled to receive) to each holder who otherwise would have been entitled to receive a fractional share in the distribution. Our transfer and distribution agent, in its sole discretion, without any influence by SolarWinds or N‑able, will determine when, how, through which broker-dealer and at what price to sell the whole shares. Any broker-dealer used by the transfer and distribution agent will not be an affiliate of either SolarWinds or N‑able. Neither N-able nor SolarWinds will be able to guarantee any minimum sale price in connection with the sale of these shares. Recipients of cash in lieu of fractional shares will not be entitled to any interest on the amounts of payment made in lieu of fractional shares.
N-able estimates that it will take approximately two weeks from the distribution date for our transfer and distribution agent to complete the distributions of the aggregate net cash proceeds. If you hold your shares of SolarWinds common stock through a bank or brokerage firm, your bank or brokerage firm will receive, on your behalf, your pro rata share of the aggregate net cash proceeds of the sales and will electronically credit your account for your share of such proceeds.
Results of the Distribution
After its separation from SolarWinds, N-able will be an independent, publicly traded company. The actual number of shares to be distributed will be determined at the close of business on      , 2021, the record date for the distribution, and will reflect any exercise of SolarWinds options or vesting of restricted stock units between the date the SolarWinds board of directors declares the distribution and the record date for the distribution. The distribution will not affect the number of outstanding shares of SolarWinds common stock or any rights of SolarWinds stockholders. SolarWinds will not distribute any fractional shares of N-able common stock.
N-able will enter into a separation agreement and other related agreements with SolarWinds to effect the separation and provide a framework for N-able’s relationship with SolarWinds after the separation. These agreements provide for the allocation between SolarWinds and N-able of SolarWinds’ assets, liabilities and obligations (including its investments, property and employee benefits and tax-related assets and liabilities) attributable to periods prior to, at and after N-able’s separation from SolarWinds and will govern certain relationships between SolarWinds and N-able after the separation. For a more detailed description of these agreements, see “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions.”
Market for N-able Common Stock
There is currently no public trading market for N-able’s common stock. N-able intends to apply to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “NABL.” N-able has not and will not set the initial price of its common stock. The initial price will be established by the public markets.
N-able cannot predict the price at which its common stock will trade after the distribution. In fact, the combined trading prices of a share of SolarWinds common stock and a share of N-able common stock after the distribution (representing the number of shares of N-able common stock to be received per share of SolarWinds common stock in the distribution) may not equal the “regular-way” trading price of a share of SolarWinds common stock immediately prior to the distribution. The price at which N-able common stock trades may fluctuate significantly, particularly until an orderly public market develops. Trading prices for N-able common stock will be determined in the public markets and may be influenced by many factors. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock.”
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Trading Between the Record Date and Distribution Date
Beginning on or shortly before the record date for the distribution and continuing up to the distribution date, SolarWinds expects that there will be two markets in shares of SolarWinds common stock: a “regular-way” market and an “ex-distribution” market. Shares of SolarWinds common stock that trade on the “regular-way” market will trade with an entitlement to N-able common shares to be distributed pursuant to the separation. Shares of SolarWinds common stock that trade on the “ex-distribution” market will trade without an entitlement to N‑able common stock to be distributed pursuant to the distribution. Therefore, if you sell shares of SolarWinds common stock in the “regular-way” market up to and including through the distribution date, you will be selling your right to receive N-able common stock in the distribution. If you own shares of SolarWinds common stock at the close of business on the record date and sell those shares on the “ex-distribution” market up to and including through the distribution date, you will receive the shares of N-able common stock that you are entitled to receive pursuant to your ownership as of the record date of the shares of SolarWinds common stock.
Furthermore, beginning on or shortly before the record date for the distribution and continuing up to the distribution date, N-able expects that there will be a “when-issued” market in its common stock. “When-issued” trading refers to a sale or purchase made conditionally because the security has been authorized but not yet issued. The “when-issued” trading market will be a market for N-able common stock that will be distributed to holders of shares of SolarWinds common stock on the distribution date. If you owned shares of SolarWinds common stock at the close of business on the record date for the distribution, you would be entitled to N-able common stock distributed pursuant to the distribution. You may trade this entitlement to shares of N-able common stock, without the shares of SolarWinds common stock you own, on the “when-issued” market. On the first trading day following the distribution date, “when-issued” trading with respect to N-able common stock will end, and “regular-way” trading will begin.
Conditions to the Distribution
The distribution will be effective at 12:01 a.m., Eastern time, on       , 2021, the distribution date, provided that the following conditions will have been satisfied (or waived by SolarWinds in its sole discretion):
the transfer of assets and liabilities to N-able in accordance with the separation agreement will have been completed, other than assets and liabilities intended to transfer after the distribution;
SolarWinds will have received opinions from its tax counsel and tax advisers regarding the qualification of the separation and the distribution as a reorganization within the meaning of Sections 355 and 368(a)(1)(D) of the Code;
the SEC will have declared effective the registration statement of which this information statement is a part, no stop order suspending the effectiveness of the registration statement will be in effect, no proceedings for such purpose will be pending before or threatened by the SEC and this information statement will have been mailed to SolarWinds stockholders;
all actions and filings necessary or appropriate under applicable U.S. federal, U.S. state or other securities laws will have been taken and, where applicable, will have become effective or been accepted by the applicable governmental authority;
the transaction agreements relating to the separation will have been duly executed and delivered by the parties;
no order, injunction or decree issued by any court of competent jurisdiction or other legal restraint or prohibition preventing the consummation of the separation, the distribution or any of the related transactions will be in effect;
the shares of N-able common stock to be distributed will have been accepted for listing on the NYSE, subject to official notice of distribution;
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the financing described under the section entitled “Description of Indebtedness” will have been completed; and
no event or development will have occurred or exist that, in the judgment of SolarWinds’ board of directors, in its sole discretion, makes it inadvisable to effect the separation, the distribution or the other related transactions.
The satisfaction of the foregoing conditions does not create any obligations on SolarWinds’ part to effect the separation, and SolarWinds’ board of directors has reserved the right, in its sole discretion, to abandon, modify or change the terms of the separation, including by accelerating or delaying the timing of the consummation of all or part of the separation, at any time prior to the distribution date. To the extent that the SolarWinds board of directors determines that any modifications by SolarWinds materially change the material terms of the distribution, SolarWinds will notify SolarWinds stockholders in a manner reasonably calculated to inform them about the modification as may be required by law.
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Market and Industry Data
Unless otherwise indicated, information contained in this information statement concerning our industry and the markets in which we operate, including our general expectations and market position, market opportunity, and market share, is based on information from various sources, on assumptions that we have made that are based on those data and other similar sources, and on our knowledge of the markets for our solutions. In addition, while we believe the industry, market and competitive position data included in this information statement is reliable and is based on reasonable assumptions, such data is necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described in “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this information statement. These and other factors could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in the estimates included in this information statement.
Some of the industry and market data contained in this information statement are based on information from various sources, including:
Cisco Systems, Inc., Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Trends, 2017-2022, February 2019.
Frost & Sullivan, Total Addressable Market for SMB IT Managed Service Providers, February 2021.
Gartner, Forecast: Small and Midsize Business IT Spending Worldwide, 2018-2024, 3Q20 Update, 26 October 2020.
Ponemon Institute, 2019 Global State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Survey, October 2019.
The Gartner content, or Gartner Content, described herein represents research opinion or viewpoints published, as part of a syndicated subscription service by Gartner, and is not a representation of fact. Gartner Content speaks as of its original publication date (and not as of the date of this information statement), and the opinions expressed in the Gartner report are subject to change without notice.
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Dividend Policy
Neither Delaware law nor our restated charter requires our board of directors to declare dividends on our common stock. We currently intend to retain all available funds and any future earnings for use in the operation of our business and do not expect to pay any dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future. Any future determination to declare cash dividends on our common stock will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and, while a controlled company, the Sponsors, and will depend on a number of factors, including our financial condition, results of operations, capital requirements, contractual restrictions, general business conditions and other factors that our board of directors and the Sponsors may deem relevant.
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Capitalization
The following table sets forth our cash and cash equivalents and capitalization as of December 31, 2020 on an actual basis and on a pro forma basis to reflect the transactions described in the section titled “Unaudited Pro Forma Combined Financial Statements.” You should read this table, together with the information contained in this information statement, including “Selected Historical Combined Financial Data,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the audited combined financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this information statement.
As of December 31, 2020
 
Actual
Pro-Forma
(Unaudited)
(in thousands, except share data)
Cash and cash equivalents
$99,790 $37,126 
Long-term debt, net of current portion372,650344,900
Stockholders’ equity (deficit):
Common stock, $0.001 par value, 1,000,000,000 shares authorized, 313,039,222 shares issued and outstanding on a pro forma basis313
Additional paid-in capital546,120
Parent company net investment582,206
Accumulated other comprehensive income48,99147,063
Total stockholders’ equity
631,197593,496
Total capitalization
$1,003,847 $938,396 
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Unaudited Pro Forma Combined Financial Statements
The following unaudited pro forma combined financial statements have been derived from our audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2020 to reflect adjustments to N-able, a business of SolarWinds. On August 6, 2020, SolarWinds announced its intent to explore the separation of our business into an independent publicly-traded company through a pro rata distribution to the holders of SolarWinds common stock. On        , 2021, the SolarWinds board of directors approved the distribution of the issued and outstanding shares of N-able common stock on the basis of        shares of N-able common stock for every        shares of SolarWinds common stock held as of the close of business on the record date of        , 2021.
The unaudited pro forma combined financial statements have been prepared in accordance with Article 11 of the SEC’s Regulation S-X. In May 2020, the SEC adopted Release No. 33-10786 “Amendments to Financial Disclosures about Acquired and Disposed Businesses,” or the “Final Rule”. The Final Rule became effective on January 1, 2021 and the unaudited pro forma combined financial statements is presented in accordance therewith.
The unaudited pro forma combined financial statements consist of an unaudited pro forma combined balance sheet as of December 31, 2020 and unaudited pro forma combined statement of operations and comprehensive income for the year ended December 31, 2020, prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP. The unaudited pro forma combined financial statements reported below should be read in conjunction with our historical audited combined financial statements and the related notes and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included elsewhere in this information statement.
The unaudited pro forma combined financial statements presented below have been derived from our historical audited combined financial statements included elsewhere in this information statement. The unaudited pro forma combined statement of operations and comprehensive income for the year ended December 31, 2020 give effect to the separation and distribution and the related transactions described below as if they had occurred on January 1, 2020. The unaudited pro forma balance sheet as of December 31, 2020 gives effect to the separation and distribution and the related transactions described below as if they had occurred on such date.
In management’s opinion, the unaudited pro forma combined financial statements reflect adjustments necessary to present fairly N-able’s pro forma results and financial position as of and for the period indicated. The pro forma adjustments are based on currently available information and assumptions management believes are, under the circumstances and given the information available at this time, reasonable and reflect changes necessary to reflect N‑able’s financial condition and results of operations as if we were a stand-alone entity. Actual adjustments may differ materially from the information presented herein.
The unaudited pro forma combined financial statements have been prepared to include transaction accounting and autonomous entity adjustments to reflect the financial condition and results of operations as if we were a separate stand-alone entity.
Transaction accounting adjustments that reflect the effects of N-able’s legal separation from SolarWinds include the following adjustments:
the impact of the separation agreement, tax matters agreement, employee matters agreement, transition services agreement, and other commercial agreements between N-able and SolarWinds;
the transfer of certain transaction costs resulting from the separation that were not included in our historical combined financial statements;
the issuance of debt for an estimated principal amount of $350.0 million to settle the related party debt with SolarWinds;
the issuance of our common stock to holders of SolarWinds common stock;
the elimination of SolarWinds’ net investment in us;
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Autonomous entity adjustments of incremental expense or other changes necessary to reflect the operations and financial position of N-able as an autonomous entity when N-able was previously part of SolarWinds, include the following adjustments:
the contribution by SolarWinds to N-able, pursuant to the separation agreement, of all assets and liabilities that comprise our business; and
other adjustments as described in the notes to these unaudited pro forma combined financial statements.
The pro forma financial statements include all revenue and costs directly attributable to N-able as well as an allocation of expenses related to facilities, functions and services provided by SolarWinds. These corporate expenses have been allocated to our business based on direct usage or benefit, where identifiable, with the remainder allocated based on headcount. All charges and allocations of cost for facilities, functions, and services provided by SolarWinds have been deemed paid by us to SolarWinds, in cash, in the period in which the cost was recorded in the pro forma combined statement of comprehensive income. Allocations to the N-able business of current income taxes payable are deemed to have been remitted, in cash, to SolarWinds in the period the related tax expense was recorded. Allocations of current income taxes receivable are deemed to have been remitted to us, in cash, by SolarWinds in the period to which the receivable applies only to the extent that a refund of such taxes could have been recognized by N-able on a stand-alone basis under the law of the relevant taxing jurisdiction.
Transactions between SolarWinds and us are accounted for through Parent company net investment in N‑able. Any transactions which have been included in our combined financial statements from SolarWinds-owned legal entities which are not exclusively operating as our legal entities are considered to be effectively settled in our combined financial statements at the time the separation and distribution is recorded between SolarWinds and us. The total net effect of the settlement of these intercompany transactions is reflected in our combined balance sheets as Parent company net investment in N-able. Other transactions between our legal entities and other SolarWinds legal entities, to the extent such transactions have not been settled in cash as of the period-end date, are reflected in our combined balance sheets as due from affiliates, which is within accounts receivable, and due to affiliates.
As an independent, publicly traded company, we expect to incur additional certain transaction costs resulting from the separation that were not included in our historical combined financial statements. These costs include legal, accounting and advisory fees and other incremental separation costs incurred related to the separation. Actual transaction costs incurred as of the balance sheet date have been transferred to our historical combined financial statements. Additional costs incurred after the balance sheet date have been included in the accompanying unaudited pro forma combined financial statements. No pro forma adjustment has been made to reflect the additional projected transaction costs because the projected transaction costs are not estimable.
Our unaudited pro forma combined financial statements are for illustrative and informational purposes only, and are not intended to represent what our results of operations or financial position would have been had the separation and distribution and related transactions occurred on the dates assumed. These unaudited pro forma combined financial statements also should not be considered indicative of our future results of operations or financial position as a separate publicly-traded company.
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N-able, Inc.
Unaudited Pro Forma Combined Balance Sheet
As of December 31, 2020
(In thousands, except share and per share information)
Historical
Transaction Accounting AdjustmentsNotes
Autonomous Entity Adjustments
NotesPro Forma Results
Assets
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents$99,790 $(60,964)(a-c)$(1,700)(k)$37,126 
Accounts receivable, net of allowances of $751 as of December 31, 2020
29,086 — — 29,086 
Income tax receivable1,262 — — 1,262 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets5,584 — — 5,584 
Total current assets 135,722 (60,964)(1,700)73,058 
Property and equipment, net19,590 — — 19,590 
Operating lease right-of-use assets13,697 — — 13,697 
Deferred taxes2,982 (784)(d)— 2,198 
Goodwill874,083 — — 874,083 
Intangible assets, net27,374 — — 27,374 
Other assets, net6,287 — — 6,287 
Total assets$1,079,735 $(61,748)$(1,700)$1,016,287 
Liabilities and stockholder’s equity
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable$5,542 5,264 (e)— $10,806 
Due to affiliates8,023 — — 8,023 
Accrued liabilities and other21,976 — — 21,976 
Accrued related party interest payable2,477 (2,477)(f)— — 
Current operating lease liabilities2,860 — — 2,860 
Income taxes payable4,447 — — 4,447 
Current portion of deferred revenue9,502 — — 9,502 
Total current liabilities 54,827 2,787 — 57,614 
Long-term liabilities:
Due to affiliates372,650 (372,650)(f)— — 
Debt.................................................— 344,900 (f)— 344,900 
Deferred revenue, net of current portion168 — — 168 
Non-current deferred taxes5,846 (784)(d)— 5,062 
Non-current operating lease liabilities14,641 — — 14,641 
Other long-term liabilities406 — — 406 
Total liabilities 448,538 (25,747)— 422,791 
Stockholder’s equity:
Common stock, $0.001 par value, 1,000,000,000 shares authorized, 313,039,222 shares issued and outstanding on a pro forma basis— 313 (c)— 313 
Additional paid-in capital— 547,820 (a-b),
(d-h)
(1,700)(k)546,120 
Parent company net investment582,206 (582,206)(g)— — 
Accumulated other comprehensive income48,991 (1,928)(h)— 47,063 
Total stockholder’s equity631,197 (36,001)(1,700)593,496 
Total liabilities and stockholder’s equity$1,079,735 $(61,748)$(1,700)$1,016,287 
See accompanying notes to unaudited pro forma combined financial statements.
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N-able, Inc.
Unaudited Pro Forma Combined Statement of Operations and Comprehensive Income
Year Ended December 31, 2020
(In thousands, except per share information)
Historical
Transaction Accounting AdjustmentsNotes
Autonomous Entity Adjustments
NotesPro Forma Results
Revenue:
Subscription and other revenue$302,871 $— $— $302,871 
Cost of revenue:
Cost of revenue
38,916 — — 38,916 
Amortization of acquired technologies
24,257 — — 24,257 
Total cost of revenue 63,173 — — 63,173 
Gross profit 239,698 — — 239,698 
Operating expenses:
Sales and marketing
82,034 473 (e)— 82,507 
Research and development
42,719 58 (e)— 42,777 
General and administrative
57,331 4,733 (e)1,700 (k)63,764 
Amortization of acquired intangibles
23,848 — — 23,848 
Total operating expenses 205,932 5,264 1,700 212,896 
Operating income33,766 (5,264)(1,700)26,802 
Other expense:
Interest expense, net(28,137)16,655 (b)— (11,482)
Other expense, net(773)384 (i)— (389)
Total other expense (28,910)17,039 — (11,871)
Income before income taxes 4,856 11,775 (1,700)14,931 
Income tax expense12,014 8,193 (j)— 20,207 
Net loss $(7,158)$3,582 $(1,700)$(5,276)
Other comprehensive income:
Foreign currency translation adjustments42,414 (1,928)(h)— 40,486 
Total comprehensive income $35,256 $1,654 $(1,700)$35,210 
Net loss per share: (l)
Basic loss per share$(0.02)
Diluted loss per share$(0.02)
Weighted-average shares used to compute net loss per share:
Shares used in computation of basic loss per share313,039 
Shares used in computation of diluted loss per share313,039 
See accompanying notes to unaudited pro forma combined financial statements.

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Notes to Unaudited Pro Forma Combined Financial Statements
Note 1: Description of Pro Forma Transactions
The accompanying combined financial statements have been prepared from SolarWinds’ historical accounting records and are presented on a stand-alone basis as if the operations had been conducted independently from SolarWinds. Our results of operations were reported in SolarWinds’ consolidated financial statements.
Note 2: Transaction Accounting Adjustments
This note should be read in conjunction with other notes in the pro forma combined financial statements. Adjustments included in the column under the heading “Transaction Accounting Adjustments” represent the following:
(a)Reflects adjustment to present the minimum cash and cash equivalents balance of $50.0 million pursuant to the terms of the separation and distribution agreement. Cash in excess of the $50.0 million subsequent to the expected repayment of outstanding indebtedness upon the distribution date will be transferred to SolarWinds. The pro forma adjustments are summarized below:      
December 31, 2020
(in thousands)
Cash and cash equivalent, beginning$99,790 
Repayment of outstanding indebtedness(27,750)
Transfer to Parent(22,040)
Cash and cash equivalent, ending$50,000 
(b)Reflects the removal of the historical interest expense related to the outstanding related party indebtedness expected to be repaid and the pro forma interest expense from the new debt. The pro forma interest expense assumes no outstanding borrowings related to our related party debt due to SolarWinds of $372.7 million and is calculated based upon the new debt agreement terms as described in Note (f) below. The pro forma adjustments are summarized below:
December 31, 2020
(in thousands)
Interest expense on new debt$(11,487)
Removal of historical interest expense28,142 
$16,655 
       The interest rate assumed for purposes of preparing the pro forma combined financial information is 3.28%. A 1/8 of a percentage point increase or decrease in the benchmark rate would result in a change in interest expense of approximately $0.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2020.
(c)Adjustment reflects the issuance of 313,039,222 shares of our common stock with a par value of $0.001 per share pursuant to the separation and distribution agreement. We have assumed the number of outstanding shares of our common stock based on 313,039,222 shares of SolarWinds common stock outstanding on , 2021 and a distribution ratio of one share of our common stock for every share of SolarWinds common stock. The actual number of shares issued will not be known until the record date for the distribution.
(d)Adjustment to reclassify deferred tax assets of $0.7 million to deferred tax liabilities to reflect the amalgamation of Passportal, Inc. with our existing Canadian legal entity.
(e)Adjustment reflects transaction costs resulting from the separation which were incurred after the balance sheet date. We expect to incur incremental material costs related to the separation, which are currently not
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estimable and therefore are not included in the pro forma adjustment. The pro forma adjustments are summarized below:
December 31, 2020
(in thousands)
Sales and marketing$473 
Research and development58 
General and administrative4,733 
$5,264 
(f)Represents new debt to settle the outstanding related party indebtedness with SolarWinds of $372.7 million. The new debt has an estimated principal amount of $350.0 million and estimated debt issuance costs of $5.1 million. Borrowings under the new debt agreement assumes interest at a floating rate which is equal to an adjusted London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, for a one-year interest period of 0.28% plus 3.0%. The adjustment includes the removal of $2.5 million of related accrued and unpaid interest payable.
(g)Represents the reclassification of SolarWinds’ net investment in our company to additional paid-in capital.
(h)Adjustment to remove the translation gains and losses recorded in accumulated other comprehensive income of $1.9 million for N-able's United Kingdom legal entity. Upon the separation and distribution, the operating structure of N-able will be based in the United States. As a result, upon the separation and distribution, the United Kingdom legal entity will change its functional currency from the Pound Sterling to the US dollar.
(i)Adjustment to remove the changes in foreign currency exchange rates recorded in other expense of $0.4 million for N-able's United Kingdom subsidiary based upon the change in the functional currency from the Pound Sterling to the US dollar as described in Note (h) above.
(j)Represents the income tax effect of the pro forma adjustments calculated using enacted statutory tax rates applicable at the legal entity in which the pro forma adjustments were made with the exception of the adjustments applicable to the U.S. which utilized a 0% rate as the U.S. consolidated group was in a full valuation allowance for the year ended December 31, 2020.
Note 3: Autonomous Entity Adjustments
This note should be read in conjunction with other notes in the pro forma combined statement of operations. Adjustments included in the column under the heading “Autonomous Entity Adjustments” represent the following:
(k)Represents expected commitment for a $75.0 million revolving line of credit to be used for general corporate purposes after the separation. We expect to have no outstanding borrowings on this line immediately following the separation. Adjustment reflects the revolving line of credit issuance costs of $1.7 million.      
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The following table illustrates the accumulated impact of footnotes a, b, c and k:
December 31, 2020
(in thousands)
Cash and cash equivalents
Target cash amount (a)$50,000 
Interest expense on new debt (b)(11,487)
Common stock issuance (c)313 
Revolving line of credit issuance cost (k)(1,700)
$37,126 
The following table illustrates the accumulated impact of footnotes a, b, e, f, g, h and k: 
December 31, 2020
(in thousands)
Additional paid in capital
Transfer to parent (a)$(22,040)
Interest expense on new debt (b)(11,487)
Transaction costs (e)$(5,264)
Removal of unpaid interest expense (f)2,477
Net parent investments (g)582,206
Change in UK subsidiary functional currency (h)1,928
Revolving line of credit issuance costs (k)(1,700)
$546,120 
Note 4: Loss per share
(l) Pro forma basic and diluted earnings per share and pro forma weighted-average basic and diluted shares outstanding for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 reflect the number of shares of our common stock that are expected to be outstanding upon completion of the separation and distribution. The terms of the expected common stock issuance are described in Note (c) above.
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Note 5: Management’s adjustments
The tables below show the expected cost savings related to our plans by increased employee retention, better business and related investment and spending policies and further by closely tailoring the sales, marketing and support motions as per the customer and market needs after the separation and distribution.
The adjustments shown below include those that management deemed necessary for a fair statement of the pro forma information presented. The adjustments include forward-looking information that is subject to the safe harbor protections of the Exchange Act and actual results could differ materially from what is presented below.
For the Year Ended December 31, 2020
Net income (loss)
(in thousands)
Pro forma combined net loss*(5,276)
Management's adjustments
Cost savings
Tax effect
Pro forma combined after management's adjustments
_______________
*As shown in Unaudited Pro Forma Combined Statement of Operations
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Selected Historical Combined Financial Data
The following financial data should be read in conjunction with our audited combined financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this information statement.
The following table summarizes our historical combined financial data. The selected historical combined balance sheet data as of December 31, 2020 and 2019 and combined statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018 are derived from our audited combined financial statements included elsewhere in this information statement. The selected historical combined financial data in this section are not intended to replace our combined financial statements and the related notes and are qualified in their entirety by the combined financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this information statement.
The selected historical combined financial data includes certain expenses of SolarWinds that were allocated to us related to facilities, functions and services provided by SolarWinds. These corporate expenses have been allocated to our business based on direct usage or benefit, where identifiable, with the remainder allocated based on headcount. Management believes the assumptions underlying the combined financial statements, including the assumptions regarding allocated expenses, reasonably reflect the utilization of services provided to, or the benefit received by, us during the periods presented. However, these shared expenses may not represent the amounts that would have been incurred had we operated autonomously or independently from SolarWinds. Actual costs that would have been incurred if we had been a stand-alone company would depend on multiple factors, including organizational structure and strategic decisions in various areas, such as information technology and infrastructure. In addition, our historical combined financial data does not reflect changes that we expect to experience in the future as a result of our separation from SolarWinds, including changes in our cost structure, personnel needs, tax structure, capital structure, financing and business operations.
The combined financial information included in this section may not necessarily reflect what our financial position, results of operations and cash flows would have been had we been a stand-alone company during the periods presented. Accordingly, these historical results should not be relied upon as an indicator of our future performance. The following selected historical combined financial data should be read in conjunction with the sections titled “Capitalization,” “Unaudited Pro Forma Combined Financial Statements” and the related notes, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the “Index to Combined Financial Statements” and the related notes included elsewhere in this information statement.
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Combined Statement of Operations Data:
Year Ended December 31,
202020192018
(in thousands)
Revenue$302,871 $263,518 $228,294 
Cost of revenue
38,916 33,253 30,920 
Amortization of acquired technologies24,257 24,067 26,428 
Gross profit239,698 206,198 170,946 
Operating expenses:
Sales and marketing
82,034 70,254 62,278 
Research and development
42,719 37,172 32,892 
General and administrative
57,331 38,971 33,286 
Amortization of acquired intangibles23,848 23,189 23,716 
Total operating expenses205,932 169,586 152,172 
Operating income33,766 36,612 18,774 
Other expense, net(28,910)(33,419)(36,265)
Income (loss) before provision for income taxes4,856 3,193 (17,491)
Income tax expense (benefit)12,014 5,705 (3,799)
Net loss$(7,158)$(2,512)$(13,692)
Combined Balance Sheet Data:
As of December 31,
20202019
(in thousands)
Cash and cash equivalents$99,790 $39,348 
Working capital(1)
80,895 38,579 
Total assets1,079,735 1,013,783 
Deferred revenue, current and non-current portion9,670 8,172 
Due to affiliates(2)
372,650 394,400 
Total liabilities448,538 450,087 
_______________
(1)We define working capital as current assets less current liabilities.
(2)Refer to Note 10. Relationship with Parent and Related Entities in the Notes to Combined Financial Statements included in this information statement for additional information regarding our related party debt.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
In addition to financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP, we use certain non-GAAP financial measures to clarify and enhance our understanding, and aid in the period-to-period comparison, of our performance. We believe that these non-GAAP financial measures provide supplemental information that is meaningful when assessing our operating performance because they exclude the impact of certain amounts that our management does not consider part of core operating results when assessing our operational performance, allocating resources, preparing annual budgets and determining compensation. Accordingly, these non-GAAP financial measures may provide insight to investors into the motivation and decision-making of management in operating the business. Investors are encouraged to review the reconciliation of each of these non-GAAP financial measures to its most comparable GAAP financial measure included below.
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While we believe that these non-GAAP financial measures provide useful supplemental information, non-GAAP financial measures have limitations and should not be considered in isolation from, or as a substitute for, their most comparable GAAP measures. These non-GAAP financial measures are not prepared in accordance with GAAP, do not reflect a comprehensive system of accounting and may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies due to potential differences in their financing and accounting methods, the book value of their assets, their capital structures, the method by which their assets were acquired and the manner in which they define non-GAAP measures. Items such as the amortization of intangible assets, stock-based compensation expense and related employer-paid payroll taxes, acquisition related adjustments and restructuring charges, as well as the related tax impacts of these items, can have a material impact on our GAAP financial results.
Non-GAAP Gross Margin, Non-GAAP Operating Income and Non-GAAP Operating Margin
We provide non-GAAP total cost of revenue, non-GAAP gross margin, non-GAAP operating expense and non-GAAP operating income and related non-GAAP gross and operating margins excluding such items as stock-based compensation expense and related employer-paid payroll taxes, amortization of acquired intangible assets, acquisition related costs, spin-off costs and restructuring costs and other. Management believes these measures are useful for the following reasons:
Stock-Based Compensation Expense and Related Employer-Paid Payroll Taxes. We provide non-GAAP information that excludes expenses related to stock-based compensation and related employer-paid payroll taxes associated with our employees’ participation in SolarWinds’ stock-based incentive compensation plans. We believe that the exclusion of stock-based compensation expense provides for a better comparison of our operating results to prior periods and to our peer companies as the calculations of stock-based compensation vary from period to period and company to company due to different valuation methodologies, subjective assumptions and the variety of award types. Employer-paid payroll taxes on stock-based compensation is dependent on our stock price and the timing of the taxable events related to the equity awards, over which our management has little control, and does not necessarily correlate to the core operation of our business. Because of these unique characteristics of stock-based compensation and related employer-paid payroll taxes, management excludes these expenses when analyzing the organization’s business performance.
Amortization of Acquired Intangible Assets. We provide non-GAAP information that excludes expenses related to purchased intangible assets associated with our acquisitions. We believe that eliminating this expense from our non-GAAP measures is useful to investors because the amortization of acquired intangible assets can be inconsistent in amount and frequency and is significantly impacted by the timing and magnitude of our acquisition transactions, which also vary in frequency from period to period. Accordingly, we analyze the performance of our operations in each period without regard to such expenses.
Acquisition Related Costs. We exclude certain expense items resulting from acquisitions, such as legal, accounting and advisory fees, changes in fair value of contingent consideration, costs related to integrating the acquired businesses, deferred compensation, severance and retention expense. In addition, we exclude certain other costs including expense related to the take private transaction of SolarWinds in early 2016 and public offerings of shares of SolarWinds common stock in 2018 and 2019. We consider these adjustments, to some extent, to be unpredictable and dependent on a significant number of factors that are outside of our control. Furthermore, acquisitions result in operating expenses that would not otherwise have been incurred by us in the normal course of our organic business operations. We believe that providing non-GAAP measures that exclude acquisition related costs allows investors to better review and understand the historical and current results of our continuing operations and also facilitates comparisons to our historical results and results of less acquisitive peer companies, both with and without such adjustments.
Spin-off Costs. We exclude certain expense items resulting from the spin-off into a newly created and separately traded public company. These costs include legal, accounting and advisory fees and other incremental separation costs incurred by us related to the spin-off. The spin-off transaction results in operating expenses that would not otherwise have been incurred by us in the normal course of our organic business operations. We believe that providing non-GAAP measures that exclude these costs facilitates a
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more meaningful evaluation of our operating performance and comparisons to our past operating performance.
Restructuring Costs and Other. We provide non-GAAP information that excludes restructuring costs such as severance and the estimated costs of exiting and terminating facility lease commitments, as they relate to our corporate restructuring and exit activities. These costs are inconsistent in amount and are significantly impacted by the timing and nature of these events. Therefore, although we may incur these types of expenses in the future, we believe that eliminating these costs for purposes of calculating the non-GAAP financial measures facilitates a more meaningful evaluation of our operating performance and comparisons to our past operating performance.
Year Ended December 31,
202020192018
(in thousands, except margin data)
GAAP total cost of revenue$63,173 $57,320 $57,348 
Amortization of acquired technologies(24,257)(24,067)(26,428)
Stock-based compensation expense and related employer-paid payroll taxes(705)(536)(97)
Acquisition related costs(2)(48)(63)
Non-GAAP total cost of revenue$38,209 $32,669 $30,760 
GAAP gross profit$239,698 $206,198 $170,946 
Amortization of acquired technologies24,257 24,067 26,428 
Stock-based compensation expense and related employer-paid payroll taxes705 536 97 
Acquisition related costs48 63 
Non-GAAP gross profit$264,662 $230,849 $197,534 
GAAP gross margin79.1 %78.2 %74.9 %
Non-GAAP gross margin87.4 %87.6 %86.5 %
GAAP sales and marketing expense$82,034$70,254$62,278
Stock-based compensation expense and related employer-paid payroll taxes(4,537)(2,444)(537)
Acquisition related costs(2)(1,166)(1,685)
Restructuring costs and other(247)(20)
Spin-off costs(736)
Non-GAAP sales and marketing expense$76,759$66,397$60,036
GAAP research and development expense$42,719$37,172$32,892
Stock-based compensation expense and related employer-paid payroll taxes(3,326)(2,462)(493)
Acquisition related costs(205)(335)
Restructuring costs and other(2)(85)
Spin-off costs(89)
Non-GAAP research and development expense$39,304$34,503$31,979
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Year Ended December 31,
202020192018
(in thousands, except margin data)
GAAP general and administrative expense$57,331$38,971$33,286
Stock-based compensation expense and related employer-paid payroll taxes(12,928)(3,638)(669)
Acquisition related costs(171)(1,756)(1,609)
Restructuring costs and other(309)(289)(705)
Spin-off costs(6,605)
Non-GAAP general and administrative expense$37,318$33,288$30,303
GAAP operating income$33,766 $36,612 $18,774 
Amortization of acquired technologies24,257 24,067 26,428 
Amortization of acquired intangibles23,848 23,189 23,716 
Stock-based compensation expense and related employer-paid payroll taxes21,496 9,080 1,796 
Acquisition related costs175 3,175 3,692 
Restructuring costs and other309 538 810 
Spin-off costs7,430 — — 
Non-GAAP operating income$111,281 $96,661 $75,216 
GAAP operating margin11.1 %13.9 %8.2 %
Non-GAAP operating margin36.7 %36.7 %32.9 %
Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin
We regularly monitor adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin, as they are measures we use to assess our operating performance. We define adjusted EBITDA as net income or loss, excluding amortization of acquired intangible assets and developed technology, depreciation expense, income tax expense (benefit), interest expense, net, unrealized foreign currency (gains) losses, acquisition related costs, spin-off costs, stock-based compensation expense and related employer-paid payroll taxes and restructuring costs and other. We define adjusted EBITDA margin as adjusted EBITDA divided by total revenue. Adjusted EBITDA has limitations as an analytical tool, and you should not consider it in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Some of these limitations include:
although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized may have to be replaced in the future, and adjusted EBITDA does not reflect cash capital expenditure requirements for such replacements or for new capital expenditure requirements;
adjusted EBITDA does not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, our working capital needs;
adjusted EBITDA does not reflect the significant interest expense, or the cash requirements necessary to service interest or principal payments, on our related party debt;
adjusted EBITDA does not reflect tax payments that may represent a reduction in cash available to us; and
other companies, including companies in our industry, may calculate adjusted EBITDA differently, which reduces its usefulness as a comparative measure.
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Because of these limitations, you should consider adjusted EBITDA alongside other financial performance measures, including operating income and net income (loss) and our other GAAP results. In evaluating adjusted EBITDA, you should be aware that in the future we may incur expenses that are the same as or similar to some of the adjustments in this presentation. Our presentation of adjusted EBITDA should not be construed as an inference that our future results will be unaffected by the types of items excluded from the calculation of adjusted EBITDA. Adjusted EBITDA is not a presentation made in accordance with GAAP and the use of the term varies from others in our industry.
 Year Ended December 31,
 202020192018
(in thousands, except margin data)
Net loss$(7,158)$(2,512)$(13,692)
Amortization and depreciation56,450 54,139 56,021 
Income tax expense (benefit)12,014 5,705 (3,799)
Interest expense, net28,137 33,805 34,523 
Unrealized foreign currency losses (gains)1,707 (601)1,723 
Acquisition related costs175 3,175 3,692 
Spin-off costs7,430 — — 
Stock-based compensation expense and related employer-paid payroll taxes21,496 9,080 1,796 
Restructuring costs and other309 538 810 
Adjusted EBITDA$120,560 $103,329 $81,074 
Adjusted EBITDA margin39.8 %39.2 %35.5 %
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Management’s Discussion And Analysis Of Financial Condition And Results Of Operations
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the audited combined financial statements and related notes and the unaudited pro forma combined financial statements, each included elsewhere in this information statement. In addition to historical combined financial information, the following discussion contains forward-looking statements that reflect our plans, estimates and beliefs. The matters discussed in these forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those made, projected or implied in the forward-looking statements. Please see the sections entitled "Risk Factors" and “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” above for a discussion of the uncertainties, risks and assumptions associated with these statements. We believe the assumptions underlying the combined financial statements are reasonable. However, the combined financial statements included herein may not reflect our results of operations, financial position and cash flows in the future or what they would have been had we been a separate, stand-alone company during the periods presented.
As explained above, as used in this information statement, the terms “N-able,” the “Company,” “we,” “us” and “our,” depending on the context, refer to N-able, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries after giving effect to the separation and distribution described under “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions— Relationship with SolarWinds.” As used in this information statement, references to “SolarWinds” or “Parent” refer to SolarWinds Corporation.
N-able was formed as a Delaware limited liability company on November 30, 2020. Prior to the distribution, N‑able will be converted from a limited liability company to a Delaware corporation. SolarWinds currently owns all of the outstanding equity of N-able.
Management’s discussion and analysis of our financial conditions and results of operations is provided as a supplement to our audited combined financial statements and related notes included elsewhere herein to help provide an understanding of our financial condition, changes in financial condition and results of our operations.
Separation from SolarWinds
On August 6, 2020, SolarWinds announced its intent to explore the separation of its MSP business into a newly-created and separately-traded public company. The separation is expected to be in the form of a pro rata distribution to holders of SolarWinds common stock of     % of the outstanding shares of our common stock. N-able was formed as a Delaware limited liability company on November 30, 2020 specifically for the purpose of effecting the separation. Prior to the distribution, N-able will be converted from a limited liability company to a Delaware corporation. We have engaged in no business activities to date and N-able has no material assets or liabilities of any kind, other than those incident to its formation and those incurred in connection with the separation. SolarWinds will transfer its N-able business to us prior to the separation.
Following the separation, we expect SolarWinds to continue to provide certain services to us on a transitional basis for associated fees, including services related to information technology, facilities, certain accounting and other financial functions and administrative functions. These services will be provided under transition services and other agreements described in “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Relationship with SolarWinds—Agreements with SolarWinds.” We generally expect to use the vast majority of these services for less than two years following the completion of the separation, depending on the type of the service and the location at which such service is provided. However, we may agree with SolarWinds to extend service periods for a limited amount of time or may terminate early such service periods.
Following the separation, we will be subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act. We will be required to establish policies, procedures and practices as a stand-alone public company necessary to comply with our obligations under the Exchange Act and related rules and regulations. As a result, we will incur additional costs, including internal audit, investor relations, stock administration and regulatory compliance costs. These additional costs may differ from the costs that were historically allocated to us from SolarWinds. To operate as a stand-alone
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public company, we expect to incur costs to replace certain services previously provided by SolarWinds, which costs may be higher than those reflected in our historical combined financial statements.
Overview
We are a leading global provider of cloud-based software solutions for MSPs, enabling them to support digital transformation and growth within small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs. We partner with over 25,000 IT service providers, which we refer to as our MSP partners, empowering them to deliver best-in-class managed services in a scalable and repeatable way. These MSP partners rely on our platform to deploy, manage and secure the IT environments of over 500,000 SMEs around the world. Our platform consists of three core solution categories: remote monitoring and management, security and data protection and business management. Through our multi-dimensional land and expand model and global presence, we are able to drive strong recurring revenue growth, profitability and retention.
Organizations of all sizes are deploying technology to transform their businesses and compete effectively. As SMEs go through digital transformation, their reliance on technology as a competitive differentiator increases. IT environments are becoming increasingly complex, with the number of applications and endpoints proliferating while also becoming more interconnected, causing the sophistication and overhead required to deploy, manage and secure these assets to grow.
We enable IT service providers of all types to act as MSPs by providing a platform that they can leverage to help SMEs access powerful and seamless technology to power their businesses. Our software platform is designed to be an integrated, enterprise-grade solution that serves as an operating system for our MSP partners and scales as their businesses grow. Built on a multi-tenant architecture, our platform allows our MSP partners to adapt to their customers’ requirements and improve service delivery by offering centralized visibility and role-based access control in both public and private cloud, on-premises and hybrid cloud environments.
As of December 31, 2020, we had over 25,000 MSP partners, of which 1,473 contributed annualized recurring revenue, or ARR, of $50,000 or more. Our 10 largest MSP partners represented less than 2% of our revenue in the year ending December 31, 2020. Our dollar-based net revenue retention rate was 109%, 108% and 108% as of December 31, 2020, December 31, 2019, and December 31, 2018, respectively.
We have experienced strong revenue growth and benefit from revenue that is recurring and highly profitable. Total revenue was $302.9 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020 with recurring revenue, which includes subscription and maintenance revenue, amounting to 96.4% of our total revenue. For the year ended December 31, 2020, our net loss was $7.2 million. For the year ended December 31, 2020, our adjusted EBITDA was $120.6 million. See “Selected Historical Combined Financial Data—Adjusted EBITDA” for additional information regarding adjusted EBITDA.
Our History
We began our journey nearly 20 years ago, and our focus from day one has been to build a platform of software solutions designed to solve the complex, operational tasks that our MSP partners face on a day-to-day basis. From the beginning, we have complemented our platform with programs and resources designed to equip our MSP partners with the tools and skills they need to drive success and growth in their businesses.
In 2013, SolarWinds predicted the growth and development of the MSP market and acquired N-able Technologies to capture the opportunity to address and better serve the rapidly evolving technology needs of SMEs through MSP partners.
In 2016, SolarWinds acquired LOGICnow, a global provider of cloud-based IT service management solutions for MSPs, and combined it with SolarWinds N-able to form SolarWinds MSP, creating a comprehensive platform to better serve MSPs globally.
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Since 2016, we have grown our platform and related solutions and our market opportunity through organic innovation, strategic technology partnerships, and targeted acquisitions, while also continuing to expand internationally and enhance our sales, marketing and partner success initiatives.
In December 2020, we announced that we are rebranding our business with a familiar name, N-able, extending the roots of who we are as a company to reflect the performance, protection, and partnership we provide our MSP partners. As a standalone entity under the N-able brand, we intend to continue to deliver enterprise-grade technology for our MSP partners to power their SME customers. The key tenants of our strategy will be to lead with technology, manage growth at scale and maintain strong operational discipline. We will continue to innovate to keep pace with evolving technology and further the extensibility of our platform and its suitability for the changing needs of our MSP partners and their customers. We continuously look to improve and refine our partner success initiatives to help our MSP partners better manage their own businesses, offer services enabled by our platform and expand their customer base and usage of the solutions our platform provides.
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Our Business Model
We align our business model with the success of our MSP partners. Our technology platform is purpose-built to serve the entire MSP market and meet the complex IT needs of the SME market. Our solutions enable our MSP partners to build offerings for their SME customers and serve as a centralized hub for IT, delivering key services such as IT support, automation, infrastructure and security monitoring, and preventative maintenance. Additionally, our customer success offerings enable our MSP partners to establish appropriate pricing structures for their service offerings, develop effective go-to-market strategies, and learn how to best use our platform to streamline internal IT processes for improved operational efficiencies.
We have a multi-dimensional land and expand model and global presence that allow us to capture opportunities efficiently within the worldwide MSP and SME markets. When we add an MSP partner, we also add their SME customers and we grow as the partner adds new customers, delivers new services based on our solutions and when the partner’s customers add devices and services. Through our scale, platform, and base of over 25,000 MSP partners, we are able to efficiently deliver enterprise-grade software to the worldwide SME market.
Our revenue is derived entirely from the sale of software solutions. We derive over 95% of our revenue from the sale of subscriptions to the solutions on our platform, substantially all of which is recognized ratably over the term of the subscriptions. Our agreements with our MSP partners are typically month-to-month or annual. The majority of our agreements are invoiced on a monthly basis to align with the business models of our MSP partners, with a limited number of MSP partners paying annually up front. Our subscriptions are predominantly sold as
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software-as-a-service, or SaaS, deployments in which we utilize our IT infrastructure to run our platform, and provide access to our MSP partners via the cloud. We also offer subscriptions that are self-managed deployments, in which our MSP partners deploy and manage our platform across their own public cloud, private cloud, on-premises or hybrid cloud environments.
Generally, the subscription-based solutions on our platform, including remote monitoring and management and security and data protection applications, are sold on a per-device or per-user basis with pricing based on volume tiers. We offer our MSP partners the flexibility to purchase solutions with pricing based either on committed volumes or a “pay-as-you-go” model, where our partners pay based on the volume of our solutions they consume. We believe this approach differentiates us by allowing our MSP partners to choose their preferred pricing approach.
We employ an efficient low-touch, high-velocity “selling from the inside” motion cultivated while a part of SolarWinds. Through this sales motion, our sales force is able to close transactions of all sizes across any location by selling online or over the phone. Our selling efforts are based on actionable lead routing and efficient pipeline management and focused on a low-friction approach that allows prospective MSP partners to trial a fully functional version of our platform. When these prospective partners realize the value of our platform, they can then purchase solutions on our platform at the size and level of functionality and complexity appropriate for their and their customers’ needs. In international markets, we also utilize a localized channel strategy. This allows us to offer in-market solutions, sales, marketing and support in local languages.
We grow with our MSP partners as they add new customers and deliver new or enhanced services based on our solutions and when their SME customers add devices and services. We drive increased adoption and usage through our expansive and growing platform and our base of native integrations with third-party solutions and tools across leading strategic technology partnerships. We support our MSP partners by offering partner success initiatives designed to help them better manage their own businesses, sell easily marketable managed service offerings based on our solutions and expand their customer bases and the services our MSP partners provide those customers. Our partner success initiatives help drive both expansion and retention as our MSP partners are provided with resources designed to help them better understand and pursue growth opportunities.
SolarWinds Cyber Incident
On December 14, 2020, SolarWinds announced that it had been the victim of a cyberattack on its Orion Software Platform and internal systems, or the Cyber Incident. As part of this attack, malicious code known as Sunburst was injected into builds of SolarWinds’ Orion Software Platform that it released between March 2020 and June 2020. If present and activated in a customer’s IT environment, Sunburst could potentially allow an attacker to compromise the server on which the Orion Software Platform was installed. Through December 31, 2020, SolarWinds recorded $3.5 million of pretax expenses related to the Cyber Incident and expects to incur significant legal and other professional services expenses associated with the Cyber Incident in future periods.
Based on investigations to date, we have not identified Sunburst in any of our N-able solutions. For the year ended December 31, 2020, none of the $3.5 million of pre-tax expenses incurred by SolarWinds related to the Cyber Incident were allocated to the N-able business. In response to the Cyber Incident and in connection with the separation, we are working to further enhance security, monitoring and authentication of our solutions and expect to incur additional expense related to these efforts in future periods.
We believe the Cyber Incident has caused reputational harm to SolarWinds and also had an adverse impact on our reputation, new subscription sales and net retention rates, although the extent of such impact was not significant in our financial results during 2020. In the final weeks of December 2020 and in the first quarter of 2021, we experienced an adverse impact to new subscription sales and expansion rates relative to historical levels. We believe this was due in part to our decision in response to the Cyber Incident to temporarily reduce investments in demand generation activities through January 2021, as well as a result of certain of our MSP partners delaying their purchasing decisions as they assessed the potential impact of the Cyber Incident. However, we also have seen consistency among renewal rates with our larger MSP partners and have not observed material adverse trends with respect to the usage of our solutions. In addition, following our resumption of regular demand generation activities in February 2021, we are encouraged by recent engagements with both prospective and existing MSP partners. In
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general our sales cycles and time from contract to revenue recognition are primarily short in nature and based on trends in the later part of the first quarter of 2021, we believe that the adverse impacts of the Cyber Incident on our financial results will diminish over time in the absence of new discoveries or events. Nevertheless, there is risk that the Cyber Incident may continue to have an adverse impact on our business in future periods, and to the extent such impact continues, including as a result of new discoveries or events, it could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows or financial position.
Impact of COVID-19
The impact from the rapidly changing market and economic conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic on our business is uncertain. SolarWinds, of which we were a part, initially responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by executing its business continuity plan and transitioning nearly all of its workforce to a remote work environment to prioritize the safety of its personnel. Substantially all of our workforce is still working remotely and, to date, we have not incurred significant disruptions to our business operations as a result of this transition.
We believe that the COVID-19 pandemic creates both opportunities and challenges for our business. As a result of the pandemic, we have seen an acceleration of digital transformation efforts among SMEs with increased demand for secure, modern remote work environments. We believe this will support long-term demand for services offered by our MSP partners. The pandemic also has resulted in significant volatility, uncertainty and disruption in the global economy, in particular for SMEs. As a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we experienced a deceleration in our year-over-year subscription revenue growth rate in the second quarter of 2020 as compared to our growth rates in prior periods. We attribute this deceleration primarily to increased churn and downgrades from existing MSP partners and slower MSP partner adds. Beginning in the third quarter of 2020, we began to see improvement in our business, primarily as a result of better stability in our MSP partner base, expansion with certain existing MSP partners and the addition of new MSP partners.
We are unable to predict the long-term impact that the pandemic may have on our business, results of operations and financial condition due to numerous uncertainties, including the duration of the pandemic, actions that may be taken by governmental authorities around the world in response to the pandemic, the impacts on the businesses of our MSP partners and their customers and other factors identified in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in this information statement. We will continue to evaluate the nature and extent of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Key factors affecting our performance
New MSP partners
We grow our business by adding new MSP partners and the customers they serve. We focus our sales efforts on adding MSP partners that have the opportunity to grow their businesses alongside us. We count the total number of MSP partners as those with active paid subscriptions at the end of each period. As of December 31, 2020, we had a large base of over 25,000 MSP partners globally. Additionally, as of December 31, 2020, we had 1,473 MSP partners with ARR over $50,000 on our platform, up from 1,117 as of December 31, 2019, representing an increase of 32%. We determine ARR as the annualized recurring revenue as of the last month of a given period. We calculate ARR by multiplying the recurring revenue and related usage revenue, excluding the impacts of credits and reserves, recognized during the final month of the reporting period from both long-term and month-to-month subscriptions by twelve. We utilize ARR to enhance the understanding of our business performance and the growth of our MSP partners.
MSP partner-enabled expansion
We also grow our business when our MSP partners add new customers and deliver new or enhanced services based on our solutions and when their SME customers add devices and services. Our ability to expand with our MSP partners is illustrated in the chart below, which highlights the expansion in revenue of our MSP partner cohorts over the years shown. Each cohort represents new MSP partners that were added in that calendar year and the revenue associated with each cohort of MSP partners over time. For example, the 2018 MSP partner cohort increased its
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ARR from $16.1 million as of December 31, 2018 to $22.7 million as of December 31, 2020, representing a multiple of 1.4x in two years.
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Our ability to expand with our MSP partners is further evidenced by our annual dollar-based net revenue retention rate, which measures our ability to expand and retain revenue derived from existing MSP partners and serves as a key indicator of the long-term value that we can provide to them and their customers. Our dollar-based net revenue retention was 109%, 108% and 108% as of December 31, 2020, December 31, 2019, and December 31, 2018, respectively. Our dollar-based gross revenue retention was 86%, 86%, and 84% as of December 31, 2020, December 31, 2019, and December 31, 2018, respectively.
To calculate our annual dollar-based net revenue retention rate, we first identify the MSP partners with active paid subscriptions in the last month of the prior-year period, or the base partners. We then divide the subscription revenue in the last month of the current-year period attributable to the base partners by the revenue attributable to those base partners in the last month of the prior-year period. Our dollar-based net revenue retention rate for a particular period is then obtained by averaging the rates from that particular period with the results from each of the prior eleven months. Our calculation includes any expansion revenue and is net of any contraction or cancellation, but excludes credits and revenue attributable to any MSP partner who was not a partner with a paid subscription in the prior period. The methodology presented above differs from the methodology that SolarWinds uses to calculate dollar-based net revenue retention. The methodology presented above identifies companies based on their Salesforce ID to remove any duplicate entries while the SolarWinds approach uses Billing IDs. The above methodology averages all months of the trailing twelve month period while SolarWinds averages each of the ending period of the prior four quarters to calculate dollar-based net revenue retention.
To calculate our dollar-based gross revenue retention rate, we first identify the subscription revenue attributable to the base partners and then deduct any subscription revenue attrition from base partners who are no longer partners as of the last month of the current-year period and subscription revenue contraction from base partners whose subscriptions are at a lower value as of the last month of the current-year period. We then divide the remaining subscription revenue by subscription revenue attributable to base partners to arrive at our gross revenue retention rate. Our dollar-based gross revenue retention rate for a particular period is then obtained by averaging the rates from that particular period with the results from each of the prior eleven months. We believe our dollar-based gross
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revenue retention provides insight into our ability to retain revenue from existing MSP partners and serves as a key indicator to the stability of recurring revenue from existing MSP partners.
Expanded and enhanced solutions on our platform
Our ability to add new MSP partners and expand with them depends on the continued development and delivery of new and enhanced solutions on our platform. Expanding and enhancing our platform helps drive increased adoption and usage of our platform and the delivery of new services powered by it. As evidence of expansion on our platform our average revenue per MSP partner has increased to approximately $11,600 in 2020 from approximately $10,200 in 2019 and approximately $8,900 in 2018. We believe average revenue is key indicator of our ability to expand adoption and usage of solutions by our MSP partners on our platform. We calculate average revenue per MSP partner as annual revenue divided by the average number of MSP partners during that period, which we derive by taking the average number of MSP Partners in each of the 12 months per year. We expect to grow both the number of solutions and usage of our platform through organic innovation, strategic technology partnerships and targeted acquisitions.
Strategic technology partnerships
We also can increase adoption and usage of our platform by leveraging the extensibility of the ecosystem framework within our platform, or our Ecosystem Framework, for integrating technologies from strategic technology partners. By doing so, our MSP partners are able to deliver leading enterprise technologies to their customers, and our strategic technology partners are able to realize the benefit of our MSP partner model. We complement these efforts with partner success initiatives designed to help our MSP partners make these technologies available to their customers.
Components of Our Results of Operations
Revenue
Our revenue consists of the following:
Subscription Revenue. We primarily derive subscription revenue from the sale of subscriptions to the SaaS solutions that we host and manage on our platform. Our subscriptions provide access to the latest versions of our software platform, technical support and unspecified software upgrades and updates. Subscription revenue for our SaaS solutions is generally recognized ratably over the subscription term once the service is made available to the MSP partner or when we have the right to invoice for services performed. In addition, our subscription revenue includes sales of our self-managed solutions, which are hosted and managed by our MSP partners. Subscriptions of our self-managed solutions include term licenses, technical support and unspecified software upgrades. Revenue from the license performance obligation of our self-managed solutions is recognized at a point in time upon delivery of the access to the licenses and revenue from the performance obligation related to the technical support and unspecified software upgrades of our subscription-based license arrangements is recognized ratably over the agreement period. We generally invoice subscription agreements monthly based on usage or in advance over the subscription period on either a monthly or annual basis.
Other Revenue. Other revenue consists primarily of revenue from the sale of our maintenance services associated with the historical sales of perpetual licenses. MSP partners with maintenance agreements are entitled to receive technical support and unspecified upgrades or enhancements to new versions of their solutions on a when-and-if-available basis for the specified agreement period. We expect maintenance revenue to decrease as a proportion of our total revenue over time.
Cost of Revenue
Cost of Revenue. Cost of revenue consists of technical support personnel costs, public cloud infrastructure and hosting fees, royalty fees and an allocation of overhead costs for our subscription revenue and maintenance services. We allocate facilities, depreciation, benefits and IT costs based on headcount.
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Amortization of Acquired Technologies. We amortize to cost of revenue capitalized costs of technologies acquired in connection with the take private transaction of SolarWinds in early 2016 and our acquisitions.
Operating Expenses
Operating expenses consist of sales and marketing, research and development and general and administrative expenses as well as amortization of acquired intangibles. Personnel costs include salaries, bonuses and stock-based compensation and related employer-paid payroll taxes, as well as an allocation of our facilities, depreciation, benefits and IT costs. SolarWinds provides facilities, information technology services and certain corporate and administrative services to us. Expenses relating to these services have been allocated to N‑able and are reflected in the combined financial statements. The total number of employees fully dedicated to our business was 1,177 and 1,113 as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. Our stock-based compensation expense increased in the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018 due to equity awards granted to employees. In addition, our stock-based compensation expense increased during 2020 due to modifications to certain stock awards during the year to amend award terms and eliminate performance vesting conditions applicable to such awards. Our travel costs declined in 2020 due to COVID-19 and we expect this to continue for the duration of the pandemic.
Sales and Marketing. Sales and marketing expenses primarily consist of related personnel costs, including our sales, marketing and partner success teams. Sales and marketing expenses also include the cost of digital marketing programs such as paid search, search engine optimization and management and website maintenance and design. We expect to continue to hire personnel globally to drive new MSP partner adds, expand with existing MSP partners and pursue initiatives designed to help our MSP partners succeed and grow.
Research and Development. Research and development expenses primarily consist of related personnel costs. We expect to continue to grow our research and development organization domestically and internationally.
General and Administrative. General and administrative expenses primarily consist of personnel costs for executives, finance, legal, human resources and other administrative personnel, general restructuring charges and other acquisition-related costs, professional fees and other general corporate expenses. We expect our general and administrative expense to increase primarily as a result of the increased costs associated with being a stand-alone public company and costs associated with our separation from SolarWinds.
Amortization of Acquired Intangibles. We amortize to operating expenses capitalized costs of intangible assets acquired in connection with the take private transaction of SolarWinds in early 2016 and our acquisitions.
Other Income (Expense)
Other income (expense) primarily consists of interest expense related to our related party debt and gains (losses) resulting from changes in exchange rates on foreign currency denominated accounts.
Foreign Currency
As a global company, we face exposure to adverse movements in foreign currency exchange rates. Fluctuations in foreign currencies impact the amount of total assets, liabilities, revenue, operating expenses and cash flows that we report for our foreign subsidiaries upon the translation of these amounts into U.S. dollars. See “Risk Factors” included in this information statement for additional information on how foreign currency impacts our financial results.
Income Tax Expense
Income tax expense consists of domestic and foreign corporate income taxes related to the sale of subscriptions. Our effective tax rate will be affected by many factors including changes in tax laws, regulations or rates, new
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interpretations of existing laws or regulations, valuation allowance, uncertain tax positions, stock based compensation, permanent nondeductible book and tax differences, shifts in the allocation of income earned throughout the world and changes in overall levels of income before tax.
Results of Operations
Throughout the periods covered by the combined financial statements, we operated as a part of SolarWinds. Consequently, stand-alone financial statements have not historically been prepared for us. The accompanying historical combined financial statements have been prepared from SolarWinds’ historical accounting records and are presented on a stand-alone basis as if our business’ operations had been conducted independently from SolarWinds. The combined financial statements present our historical results of operations in accordance with GAAP.
N-able comprises certain stand-alone legal entities for which discrete financial information is available. As SolarWinds records transactions at the legal entity level, for the legal entities which are shared between the N-able business and other SolarWinds operations for which discrete financial information was not available, allocation methodologies were applied to certain accounts to allocate amounts to us as discussed in Note 2. Basis of Presentation of the Notes to Combined Financial Statements.
Our combined statements of operations include all revenue and costs directly attributable to us as well as an allocation of expenses related to facilities, functions and services provided by SolarWinds. These corporate expenses have been allocated to our business based on direct usage or benefit, where identifiable, with the remainder allocated based on headcount where appropriate. These allocations are primarily reflected within operating expenses in our combined statements of operations. We believe the basis on which the expenses have been allocated to be a reasonable reflection of the utilization of services provided to, or the benefit received by, us during the periods presented. However, these allocations may not be indicative of the actual expenses we would have incurred as a stand-alone company during the periods prior to the separation or of the costs we will incur in the future. See Note 10. Relationship with Parent and Related Entities of the Notes to Combined Financial Statements for further details of the allocated costs.
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The following table sets forth our results of operations for the periods indicated:
Year Ended December 31,
202020192018
(in thousands)
Revenue: