Vista Equity Laying Groundwork to Move Three San Diego Companies

Vista Equity Partners, the private equity firm that spent $2.8 billion this year acquiring San Diego’s Active Network, Websense, and Omnitracs, intends to move all three companies to Texas, according to a source in senior management who is familiar with the plans.

The relocation would be completed in 2014, affecting a total of up to 1,700 San Diego-based employees at all three companies.

“The wheels are in motion,” said the source, who would only speak anonymously about Vista Equity’s plans. “They don’t like California because of the tax structure. They like to hire young, aggressive, incredible talent on the cheap, and get them in there to drive up the earnings or cash flow. They basically take out the costs, increase the cash flow, get the debt down, and look for a sale.”

Vista Equity did not respond this week to requests for comment that were left Tuesday by phone and through the firm’s website. Vista Equity is based in San Francisco, and has offices in Chicago and Austin, TX.

In response to a request for comment, Kristin Carroll, marketing vice president for the Active Network, wrote in an e-mail late Wednesday, “As you’re aware, the acquisition by Vista is very recent and we have not finalized any of our 2014 plans.”

Omnitracs CEO John Graham declined to comment in a brief phone call, referring the query to Vista Equity. A spokeswoman for Websense did not immediately respond to a query by phone and e-mail late Wednesday.

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Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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