UPDATE 2-Riverbed to be bought by Thoma Bravo, Ontario Teachers

Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:49am EST
 
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(Adds analyst comments)

By Soham Chatterjee and Lehar Maan

Dec 15 (Reuters) - Thoma Bravo LLC and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan said they would buy network equipment maker Riverbed Technology Inc for $3.6 billion, just over a year after the company's biggest shareholder started agitating for a sale.

Paul Singer's Elliott Management Corp had been pressing Riverbed to sell itself due to a slowdown in its main wide-area network (WAN) optimization business and its struggle to integrate Opnet, a maker of software to manage traffic on networks that it bought in 2012 for about $1 billion.

The offer of $21 per share in cash is a premium of 12 percent to Riverbed's closing price on Friday. Riverbed's stock was trading at $20.44 on Monday morning.

Analysts said it was unlikely the offer, which matches an existing bid from Elliott, would be topped.

"Given the amount of time that Elliott Management's offer has been outstanding ... we don't expect a superior offer to emerge," Janney Capital Markets analyst Bill Choi said.

J.P.Morgan's Rod Hall said the offer was fair, given the lack of growth in the company's core business.

Riverbed, whose products boost data speeds on networks, said in October it would explore strategic alternatives.   Continued...