What a difference a year makes: Almost one year to the day after announcing a major partnership with Ericsson aimed at changing its fortunes following a patent dispute, application delivery controller firm A10 Networks Inc. has registered for an initial public offering with the intention of raising about $100 million.
One year ago, the 10-year-old company hooked up with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) in a deal for the larger vendor to resell A10's AX system for IPv4-IPv6 translation. That partnership came shortly after the small ADC vendor suffered a setback in a patent infringement lawsuit with Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), with a ruling for A10 to pay Brocade $60 million in damages. The companies later settled out of court. (See A10 Gains From Cisco's Exit & Ericsson's Hand and Brocade & A10 Settle.)
In the year since, competition on the ADC market has become tense, with A10 fighting Citrix Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS), F5 Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FFIV), Riverbed Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: RVBD), and KEMP Technologies Inc. , among others, for control of a market that vendor giant Cisco Systems backed out of. A10 has also sought to expand into new markets, like protection for distributed denial-of-service attacks. (See Kemp Looks to Fill Cisco's ADC Void, Cisco Ready to Quit Load Balancers, and A10 Enters DDOS Protection Market.)
It might be the right time to put a market value on an ADC firm. Last month, Riverbed rejected a $3 billion-plus acquisition offer from minority investor Elliott Management, and promptly saw its stock price jump above $20 per share. There have since been rumors that larger vendors might look to acquire Riverbed. (See Riverbed Spurns Takeover Offer and Riverbed Under Pressure to Sell.)
Neither a date nor a price range for the proposed A10 Networks IPO has been determined yet.
— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading