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Sourcefire going public

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Sourcefire, maker of the popular open-source Snort intrusion prevention technology, has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) to raise up to $75 million in stock, six months after plans to be acquired by Check Point fizzled out amid a federal investigation.

The Columbia, Md.-based-firm, founded in 2001 by the creator of Snort, represents one of the first IT security companies to enter the stock market since the dot-com bust more than five years ago.

Sourcefire did not say in a statement how many shares will be offered or what the estimated price range will be. The company registered for the IPO on Wednesday with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.

In October, Sourcefire announced it was to be acquired by Check Point, an Israel-based internet and VPN security provider, for $225 million. But Check Point withdrew from the deal in March after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, made up of 12 government agencies, voiced objections over a foreign company owning Sourcefire, whose technology secures some U.S. government networks.

Following the deal's collapse, Sourcefire announced in May that it secured $20 million in Series D venture capital funding from Meritech Capital Partners. To date, Sourcefire has raised more than $54 million from a slew of investors and has considerably improved its financial state, according to the company website.

For the nine-month period ending Sept. 30, the company reported a net loss of $2.9 million, dwindling from $5.07 million during the same period in 2005. Meanwhile, the firm reported a revenue growth of 36 percent, from $21.2 million from $28.9 million, according to wire reports.

The 174-employee Sourcefire has applied to trade under the symbol "FIRE" on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

A Sourcefire representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

Click here to email Dan Kaplan.

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