HP to sell security business TippingPoint

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HP to sell security business TippingPoint

Preparing for November corporate split.

Hewlett-Packard is exploring a sale of network security unit TippingPoint ahead of its corporate split later this year, according to people familiar with the matter.

Private equity firms have expressed interest in TippingPoint, sources said this week. The unit could be valued at between US$200 million to US$300 million (A$285 million to A$427.5 million) they added.

The sources asked not to be identified because the sale process is confidential. A spokesman for HP declined to comment.

HP is reviewing all parts of its business to find assets that may not fit into the separate companies ahead of a planned corporate breakup in November.

HP plans to split into two publicly listed companies, one focused on enterprise technology, software and services and one focused on slower-growing computer and printer businesses.

"HP has been vocal about looking to sell assets that they consider non-core, and that they are not through that process yet," said Brean Capital analyst Ananda Baruah.

TippingPoint, which makes hardware for companies' firewalls that protect their networks, competes in a crowded space against companies such as Palo Alto.

Its technology is not a key part of HP's broader security strategy, which is focused on more sophisticated, faster-growing areas such as encryption.

Earlier this year, HP bought encryption company Voltage Security, which helps customers protect their data.

Other security assets that HP is focused on include ArcSight, which monitors and analyses corporate networks for breaches, as well as Fortify, which provides application security.

HP acquired TippingPoint as part of its US$2.7 billion acquisition of 3Com Corporation in 2010. In May, HP sold a controlling stake in its China-based data networking business H3C Technologies, another unit of 3com, to China's Tsinghua Unigroup for US$2.3 billion.

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