Juniper May Sell Junos Pulse Security Business

According to a report, executives are considering the move as part of their larger plan to cut expenses and increase shareholder returns.

Juniper Networks reportedly is considering selling off its Junos Pulse mobile security business as part of its larger effort to streamline the company.

According to a report from Reuters, the world's second-largest networking vendor has tapped financial services firm UBS AG to help the company find a buyer for the Junos Pulse business, which anonymous sources said could fetch a price in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The move comes less than two months after new CEO Shaygan Kheradpir outlined a plan to restructure the company's operations and return $3 billion to investors, and less than two weeks after officials that Juniper is cutting 6 percent of its workforce and exiting the application delivery controller business.

Juniper's Junos Pulse platform is designed to enable enterprises and smaller businesses to offer secure mobile and remote network access via a simple end-user interface.

Juniper officials declined to comment on the Reuters report.

The company has been under pressure for most of the year from a couple of large shareholders to cut expenses and return more money to investors. Elliott Management officials in January said that the company had solid products but was underperforming, and outlined steps Juniper officials should take to improve the situation, from reviewing its switch and router strategies to reducing expenses to slowing its acquisition strategy. The firm also suggested that Juniper ditch its security business.

Another investor, Jana Partners, later added its voice to the mix, agreeing with Elliott's assessment. Both saw an opportunity for change in the form of Kheradpir, who took over as CEO in January after being named to the post in the fall.

In February, Kheradpir unveiled the company’s integrated operating plan, saying it "is focused on accelerating growth and increasing shareholder value" and that it will lead to a "more focused, connected, agile and execution-oriented company." The plan calls for the company to leverage its networking expertise, grow its margins, reduce the percentages of revenues being spent on R&D, return $3 billion to shareholders and reviewing its product portfolio.

Earlier this month, Juniper officials announced their plan to cut 6 percent of the workforce, which will translate to about 560 jobs.