It's been a bouncy public road for WAN optimization specialist Blue Coat Systems
The company goes through wild mood swings. Sometimes its quarterly earnings releases come out disappointing, while at other times they surprisingly beat expectations. Well, it seems that Blue Coat's jumpy ways have attracted the attention of a private suitor.
San Francisco-based private equity firm Thoma Bravo has agreed to acquire the networking and Web security company for $1.3 billion. According to the official press release, Blue Coat shareholders can look forward to pocketing $25.81 per share in cash, representing a healthy 48% premium over yesterday's close, and knocking my CAPS score down a few notches in the process (as if the past couple months haven't been brutal enough).
I had made an "underperform" CAPScall back in June with a start price of $21.42. Yesterday's close of $17.48 represented a negative 18% over the past six months, earning me some points. My real-money pick in the WAN optimization sector is Riverbed Technologies
The company also faces stiff competition from the likes of Websense
Blue Coat has been flailing for quite some time, even replacing the CEO in August due to the missteps. The company had been on a string of missing its own performance targets, and was failing to effectively market its goods.
In July, fellow Fool Bryan Hinmon had even broached the possibility of Blue Coat being acquired by a larger networking rival like Cisco Systems
The acquisition is Thoma Bravo's fifth security technology platform investment, so hopefully the private equity firm will be able to realize some cost synergies and help implement a meaningful turnaround for Blue Coat. Investors can breathe a sigh of relief, as Blue Coat's public days are over.
With Blue Coat going private, there's no sense in adding it to your Watchlist. Instead, sign up for a free trial of Motley Fool Rule Breakers to read why Riverbed Technologies may deserve a spot in your portfolio.