The report refers to industry analysts’ numbers that say Arista’s revenues are “likely to exceed $300 million” this year (that being from Brian Marshall of ISI Group) and that the IPO valuation could be around $2.5 billion.
The banks chosen were Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and Credit Suisse Group, Reuters reported.
It’s puzzling that Arista hasn’t gone public yet, considering it’s had IPO buzz since at least 2011 (when one analyst told me, then at Light Reading, that a 2012 IPO looked likely). The company has no shortage of publicity; in fact, rivals such as Extreme Networks sometimes feel they’re competing with the publicity machine more than with Arista’s actual products.
Overall, Arista claims to be going gangbusters in the switch market and has been rather visible in the software-defined networking (SDN) conversation. (We hear this SDN stuff is hot.) Arista even appears to be making a move into more mainstream enterprise networks.
But then you remember: Arista was founded by Andy Bechtolsheim and David Cheriton, who funded it with their own money. Arista doesn’t have a mob of venture capitalists clamoring for an exit. Obviously, Bechtolsheim and Cheriton wouldn’t mind eventually cashing in, but in a sense, the main reason for Arista to even consider an IPO is to reward the employees of the 9-year-old company.
“I don’t think there’s any issue or problem. It’s just that their capital structure is unique,” one analyst tells SDNCentral.
Timing might have been a factor as well, analyst Zeus Kerravala of ZK Research speculated to SDNCentral in September. “It could be the run rate is too lumpy. I’ve heard they’ve had some big quarters, but Wall Street doesn’t like one big quarter followed by a small one,” Kerravala says.
Or maybe nobody wants to invest in a company named after a mermaid.