Second Time Lucky? Blue Coat files for an IPO

Blue Coat Systems is no stranger to the the IT Security industry. Founded in 1996, the company has gone through its fair share of transformations.

In 2012, Blue Coat was taken private by a group led by Thoma Bravo for $1.3bn. What followed was a period of rapid acquisition to build out its capabilities, with Blue Coat acquiring Crossbeam systems (2012), Solera Networks (2013), Norman Shark (2013), Perspecsys (2015), and Elastica (2015).

In 2015, Bain Capital bought Blue Coat from Thoma Bravo in a deal at around $2.4bn.

Bain Capital appears to be looking for a quick turnaround with the IPO announcement which will see Bain continue to hold a majority of the shares. The company has not yet released details as to how many shares it plans to sell and only gave a rounded figure of $100m for its IPO, a figure that will likely change.

2016 has not been a year kind to public technology companies. Shares in FireEye, Palo Alto Networks, and Rapid7 have taken a dip and SecureWorks was priced below its expected range in going public.

Which begs the question whether Bain is rushing into the IPO for Blue Coat. The M&A activity in recent years makes it difficult to accurately evaluate the companies assets and liabilities. Although, according to the filing it carries almost $2bn of debt.