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Report: Blue Coat Systems Getting Ready To Return To Public Market

A report that the security company is eyeing a public offering is 'encouraging' and a validation of the company's strategy, partners said.

Blue Coat Systems could be eyeing a return to the public market, and may quietly file for its initial public offering as early as next week, according to a report.

The report, published in Business Insider on Tuesday, said the company will file privately with the SEC, as it has less than $1 billion in revenue. If it files next week, as the report said, the company could relist on the stock exchange as early as mid-June.

Blue Coat is looking to raise around $500 million in the offering, according to the report. The move would make Blue Coat the second security company to seek its IPO this year, following on the heels of Dell SecureWorks, which had an initial public offering in April. Reports have also said that security solution provider Optiv Security might be seeking an IPO later this year.

[Related: Report: Optiv Security To Seek IPO In Coming Months]

Blue Coat declined to comment on the report and what an IPO might mean for partners.

The IPO would mark a return to the public market for Blue Coat, which went private in 2011 when it was acquired by private equity firm Thoma Bravo for $1.3 billion. Blue Coat changed ownership in March 2015 when it was acquired by private equity firm Bain Capital for $2.4 billion.

At the time of the acquisition by Bain Capital a year ago, CEO Gregory Clark said the purchase would help position it for an IPO, saying in a statement that it would "further grow our portfolio, better serve our customers and help us prepare to return to the public markets." Bain Capital Managing Director David Humphrey also said at the time that the private equity firm was looking forward to taking the company public after growing it organically and through acquisitions.

Stephen Harrison, managing partner and CEO at the EverSec Group, a Tarrytown, N.Y.-based Blue Coat partner, said it is "encouraging" to hear that the vendor could be pursuing a second IPO.

Harrison in particular praised Blue Coat's acquisition strategy, under which it initially picked up Norman Shark and Solera when it was owned by Thoma Bravo. Rcently, Blue Coat has been on a cloud security acquisition spree, picking up cloud access security broker Perspecsys in July and cloud access and application security company Elastica in November.

Harrison said an IPO could signal that Blue Coat will continue in this strategic direction, which he said is "great strides" toward a "mission of establishing a strong, rounded portfolio of products."

"The move now towards going public shows further confidence in this direction, [in the] the continued growth of the Blue Coat brand, rather than simply selling them off for a short-term gain," Harrison said. "I like the move."

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