Network security company ForeScout interviews banks for IPO: sources

September 26, 2016 5:32 PM EDT

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By Lauren Hirsch and Liana B. Baker

(Reuters) - ForeScout Technologies Inc has interviewed investment banks in recent weeks to hire underwriters for an initial public offering that could value the U.S. network security company at as much as $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

ForeScout's IPO plans are a further sign of a rebound in the IPO market in the United States. Not a single U.S. technology company went public between January and late April due to stock market jitters.

The IPO could come later this year, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the matter is not public. A representative for ForeScout declined to comment.

Based in San Jose, California, ForeScout provides software to companies that allow them to see in real time every single device connected to their networks and ensure this is done securely. Founded in 2000 by Israeli entrepreneurs, its products are used by over 2,000 companies and government organizations.

ForeScout's IPO would come as similar offerings have failed to live up to their promise, amid fierce competition in the sector. Shares of peers FireEye Inc and SecureWorks Corp, which went public earlier this year, continue to trade below their IPO prices.

ForeScout CEO Mike DeCesare said earlier this summer that the stock performance of SecureWorks' shares had prompted the wider cyber security industry to reevaluate its IPO plans.

However, some cyber security companies have also sold themselves for top dollar. Blue Coat Systems Inc, which had been planning to go public earlier this year, was sold by private equity firm Bain Capital LLC to Symantec Corp in a $4.65 billion cash deal last month.

So far this year, there have only been 13 technology IPOs, raising $1.9 billion, less than half the $4.6 billion raised last year, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Still, the window may be cracking open. Last week, eight IPOs priced, raising a total of $1.3 billion. Two of these IPOs were technology companies, including ad tech company Trade Desk Inc, which priced its $84 million IPO at the high-end of its indicated range.

ForeScout has raised a total of $121 million in eight rounds of funding. It most recently raised $76 million at a $1 billion valuation in January. Its investors include Accel Partners, Amadeus Capital, Meritech Capital Partners and Pitango Venture Capital.

(Reporting by Lauren Hirsch in New York and Liana B. Baker in San Francisco; Editing by Andrew Hay)

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