Activist investor Elliott Management's Paul Singer on Monday launched an insurgency campaign at Gigamon (GIMO) that likely will involve an effort to have the network visibility and traffic monitoring technology company sell itself.
Singer reported owning a 15.3% stake and noted that it intends to communicate with Gigamon's management about its intent to encourage the company's board to "undertake a strategic review process" that could include a sale of the business.
The company, which is based in Santa Clara, Calif., has a $1.4 billion market capitalization. Its share price shot upwards on the news, trading up about 12% to $39.25 a share in early trading Monday.
The company has grown its revenue by 30% per year since its 2013 IPO, however it may be undervalued by the public markets, underperforming the S&P 500 recently.
In addition, a number of its core competitors have been acquired, all of which suggests that Elliott may seek to drive a sale of the company in the not-too-distant future. In January, network security and software company Ixia (XXIA) was acquired by Keysight Technologies in a $1.6 billion deal. Ixia had previously acquired Anue Systems Inc. for $155 million and BreakingPoint for $160 million, both in 2012. Both Anue and BreakingPoint create network security systems. And in 2013, Ixia acquired network monitoring company Net Optics Inc. for $190 million.
In addition, VSS Monitoring, a network intelligence company, was acquired by Danaher Corp. in 2012 and is now part of Netscout. (Netscout acquired Danaher's communications business in 2015 and as part of that deal it purchased the VSS monitoring business.)
The activist fund and its star technology portfolio manager, Jesse Cohn, has had some success driving technology companies into sales or other strategic M&A actions in recent years. Two recent targets have included Citrix and Qlik Technologies.
Qlik Technologies faced limited private equity interest but subsequently sold itself in a $3 billion cash deal to Thoma Bravo LLC, one of the buyout shops reportedly interested in Citrix.