Report: HP Looking To Sell Its TippingPoint Business Before Split

HP is reportedly shopping around its network security TippingPoint business, a move partners say could allow the vendor to drive more focus in its security business around software and big data and analytics.

Citing unnamed sources, the Reuters report said private equity firms had expressed interest in the unit, which could be valued between $200 million and $300 million. The move is part of a thorough review of HP business units in advance of the upcoming company split into two publicly traded companies in November, the report said.

An HP spokesperson declined to comment, saying that the company does not comment on rumors or speculation.

[Related: 6 Hot New Security Products Launched By HP Security This Week]

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The report comes during the company's HP Protect conference in National Harbor, Md., where it rolled out a series of new solutions focused primarily around leveraging big data and analytics for a more effective security posture.

Mike Strohl, CEO of Concord, Calif.-based HP partner Entisys, said the move could be a smart one for HP and a win for partners as it would allow the vendor to focus more on areas where it can differentiate itself, such as software or big data and analytics. The TippingPoint business faces stiff competition in the network security market, going head to head with heavyweights such as Palo Alto Networks.

That focused security vision and strategy will be especially important for partners going into the upcoming company split, Strohl said.

"Right now, with the split of the company, there may be certain things in the enterprise business that they are looking at from the standpoint of consolidations. It's all about focus for them and does it align with their strategy," Strohl said.

In exclusive interviews with CRN, HP CEO Meg Whitman, who will serve as CEO of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise after the split, has said to expect more investment in its enterprise business, which includes its security portfolio. In particular, she said the company will be looking to make some smaller M&A moves, similar to its Voltage Security buy in February. She said the company will be looking for those "perfect acquisitions," similar to the $3 billion Aruba buy earlier this year.

"We have been very disciplined, and we have been smart about it, and I think we have been on the right side of right so far," Whitman said in the August interview.

As for the TippingPoint business itself, which HP acquired in 2010 as part of its $2.7 billion acquisition of 3Com, Entisys' Strohl said it could make a good purchase for a private equity firm or competitive security vendor who can drive focused investment in the technology.

"It could be good for that technology to be with a focused owner who wants to build it out further," Strohl said.