Riverbed not working on potential sale - sources

Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:55pm EST

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(Reuters) - Network equipment maker Riverbed Technology Inc (RVBD.O) is currently not weighing a sale, two people with knowledge of the matter said, denying a media report that pushed up the technology company's stock earlier on Wednesday.

Bloomberg reported that Riverbed was working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) to consider options including a sale of the company and that it had already attracted informal interest from private equity firms for a leveraged buyout. (link.reuters.com/zas64v).

The company's shares jumped 8 percent to $19.04 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday after that report.

However, the two sources told Reuters that while Goldman Sachs had been a long time advisor to Riverbed, the bank is currently not working with the company on a potential sale.

Representatives of Riverbed and Goldman Sachs declined to comment. The sources asked not to be named because the matter is not public.

Goldman Sachs had managed Riverbed's initial public offering in 2006 and will also advise the company on its defense against activist investor Elliot Management, one of the people said.

Elliott Management, known for publicly agitating for a sale or a board shakeup in the companies in which it invests, reported on Friday that it had obtained a stake of about 10.4 percent in the company and said Riverbed should conduct a strategic review.

On Monday, Riverbed announced that its board of directors approved a new stockholder rights plan -- a takeover defense measure also known as a poison pill -- that can be exercised when individuals or groups obtain 10 percent or institutional shareholders own 20 percent of Riverbed stock.

Riverbed had said it was focused on creating value for its shareholders and would continue to maintain an open dialogue with shareholders, including Elliott.

Riverbed, whose products boost data speeds on wide-area networks by up to 100 times, has been viewed by analysts as an underperformer after it bought Opnet Technologies in a $1 billion deal last year.

(Additional reporting by Soham Chatterjee; Editing by Joyjeet Das and Bob Burgdorfer)

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