Blue Coat Systems, the security-software company taken private six years ago,
is close to kicking off an initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.
The company could make its IPO filing public as soon as next week, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.
With revenues under $1 billion, Blue Coat filed under the Jumpstart our Business Startups (or JOBS) Act, which allows small companies to file for IPOs privately with the SEC.
Once the offering document is public, the company has to wait three weeks before the share sale can proceed, meaning the IPO would likely be in mid- to late-June at the soonest. It’s possible that the company will proceed with the filing this week, one person said.
The timing of Blue Coat’s eventual share sale could be affected by the June 23 UK referendum on whether or not to exit the EU. The Federal Reserve is also set to make an interest rate decision on June 15, and now widely expected to raise interest rates at that meeting. Market volatility around either event could delay the deal, one person said.
Blue Coat is is already testing the waters for an IPO with potential investors, and a final decision on whether or not to file will depend on the feedback from those funds. It is still aiming for a deal of around $500 million, one person said, though that could change depending on investor sentiment. Bloomberg News in January reported the potential size of the deal.
The deal would be the largest US tech-sector IPO of the year, and a big step toward the market’s comeback. Deal activity all but stopped last year as investor sentiment soured. The IPO market has begun to come back to life since mid April, when the stock exchange operator Bats Global Markets successfully launched its $250 million offering.
For Blue Coat, an IPO would mark a return to capital markets. It was a publicly traded company until 2012 when it was acquired by private-equity firm Thoma Bravo. It was sold to Bain Capital last year.
Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan are leading the deal, with Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs also managing.
Representatives for the four banks as well as Blue Coat declined to comment.