NEW YORK (
has received a first round of bids from private equity buyers, according to
reports, which cites unnamed sources. In October, the firm reportedly hired investment banker
to initiate a sale process.
Monday's news of bids lifted Brocade shares over 10% after they fell in 2011 with waning profits. The switching solutions maker for storage area networks saw its shares rise from post-recession lows in October, on reports by the
Wall Street Journal
that it was looking for a private equity buyer.
Currently, Brocade is one of the top holdings of Elliott Associates, which has an over 10% stake and was highlighted as a potential buyer of the company by research firm ThinkEquity in December. Other large shareholders include
, each with over 4% stakes in the company's shares, which rose to $5.87, up 8.3%, adding to double digit 2012 gains.
ThinkEquity analysts highlighted Brocade as a candidate to be taken private by Elliott Associates in a deal that mirrored private equity firm Thoma Bravo's $1.3 billion purchase of
Blue Coat Systems
( BCSI). In that deal, Thoma Bravo paid a $25.81 a share, or a 48% premium to the tech hardware maker's shares, and had been a large shareholder prior to the buyout.
In 2011, Brocade saw its profits fall by over 50% to just over $50 million, while revenue grew over 5% to $2.1 billion. In its most recent quarter ended in September, Brocade posted a $4.3 million net loss - its first losing quarter since the third quarter of 2009.
For more on Brocade, see
-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York