Palo Alto Networks rattles tin, wants $1.5bn for, er, stuff and things

Loan notes to build war chest – yet firm denies it's eyeing up a fresh buyout

Palo Alto Networks is trying to raise $1.5bn in cash for "potential acquisitions" and "strategic transactions", the company said today – though it claims not to have any buyout targets in mind just yet.

The company, which recently hired a new chief exec, former Google and Softbank bloke Nikesh Arora, said that of the $1.5bn it hopes to raise, $1.48bn should end up as cash ready to splash on... well, whatever it fancies.

The loan notes which form the legal basis for the fundraising exercise pay 0.75 per cent interest and mature in 2023.

Once fees are deducted, the cash will be spent on "general corporate purposes" including "working capital, capital expenditures, potential acquisitions, strategic transactions, the payment of amounts due upon conversion, at maturity or upon repurchase of Palo Alto Networks' outstanding 0 per cent Convertible Senior Notes due 2019 and repurchases of Common Stock pursuant to Palo Alto Networks' stock repurchase program".

It added: "Palo Alto Networks, however, does not currently have any agreements or understandings with respect to any such material acquisitions or strategic transactions."

New CEO Arora also reportedly invested $20m of his own cash into Palo Alto Networks stock, representing a hefty vote of confidence.

Last year the firm bought infosec machine-learning biz Lightcyber for $105m and a couple of years before that snapped up Israeli endpoint protection company Cyvera for $200m, including $88m in cash. ®

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