Websense exploring a sale -WSJ

NEW YORK, March 16 Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:47pm EDT

NEW YORK, March 16 (Reuters) - Security software company Websense Inc WBSN.O is exploring selling itself and has hired Frank Quattrone's Qatalyst Partners to help with the process, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

According to the report, the company could be worth about $1 billion in a sale. The company's market capitalization at Tuesday's close was about $830 million.

Shares of Websense rose 12.6 percent to $23.00 after the report.

Qatalyst declined to comment. Websense was not immediately available to comment.

Websense's chief executive, Gene Hodges, told Reuters last year that the company is open to a takeover bid.

Reuters also reported last year that the company had spoken to possible acquirers but was not running a sales process at the time, citing a source familiar with the matter. (Reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by Gary Hill)