US cyber security firm Imperva to explore strategic options

US cyber security firm Imperva Inc is planning to hire an investment bank in order to help it explore strategic options after coming under pressure from activist hedge fund Elliott Management, Reuters yesterday reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Last month Elliott revealed that it holds a 9.8-per cent stake in Imperva and said that the company's shares are undervalued.

In a securities filing Elliott said that it has started talks with Imperva because it feels that the company is materially undervalued and operates in a highly strategic area of the technology industry with an attractive competitive position and compelling product set.

Elliott also suggested that Imperva may be a target for a takeover, noting that there are both "strategic and operational opportunities" for the issuer that would meaningfully increase value to shareholders.

Imperva could hire a financial adviser as early as next week to help the company review its options, including a potential sale, as well as help it to deal with Elliott, the report said.

California-based Imperva, which has a market cap of $1.44 billion and annual revenues of $234 million, provides cyber and data security products. Its data center security provides tools to combat attack, theft, and fraud, mitigate risk, and streamline regulatory compliance.

Founded in 2002, Imperva has over 4,500 customers and 300 partners in more than 90 countries worldwide.

Its clients include GE Healthcare, Siemens, EMF Broadcasting, The Motley Fool, Metro Bank and others.

New York-based Elliott, run by billionaire Paul Singer, specialises in buying stakes in technology companies and other sectors, and forces them to seek strategic options.

It has launched over 96 campaigns at 92 companies since 1994, according to Connecticut-based financial data firm FactSet Research Systems.