Blue Coat Acquired for $1.3 Billion

WAN optimization and security vendor is being taken private. How will it affect their business?

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Dec 9, 2011
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WAN optimization vendor Blue Coat Systems (Nasdaq: BCSI) announced today that it is being taken private by an investment group led by private equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC. The deal is valued at $1.3 billion and is expected to close in the first quarter of calendar 2012.

Bravo will be paying $25.81 for each common share of Blue Coat, which is a 48 percent premium over the company's closing price on December 8. Blue Coat's board of directors had announced six months ago their intention to look for strategic options for the company's future ownership direction. According to Blue Coat, the deal is proof positive that the company is headed in the right direction.

"The value of the deal speaks for itself, it's basically a 50 percent premium over what we were trading at yesterday," Steve Daheb, chief marketing officer and senior vice president at Blue Coat, told InternetNews.com. "You don't do that unless you have a really strong belief in the direction of the company and it's opportunity to grow in both the security and optimization markets."

Daheb added that going private removes some of the traditional overhead that is associated with being a public company such as regulatory requirements and quarterly filings. That said, Thoma Bravo will be expecting a return on their investment and profitability.

"Perhaps we'll be able to invest in certain scenarios without having the level of scrutiny that you would when you have to report every 90 days," Daheb said. "I think we're pretty right-sized in terms of where we need to go, but the energy that would have gone into quarterly filings can now just be put into customer focus."

Daheb noted that whether or not a company is public or private matters very little to most customers.

"At the end of the day, you're competing on the merits of the product, not the stock price or who owns you," Daheb said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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