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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - U.S. missile maker Raytheon's (RTN.N) cybersecurity unit could thrive were it to be listed separately, the head of the unit, Forcepoint, told German business daily Boersenzeitung in an interview published on Saturday.
"Raytheon has undertaken that Forcepoint will achieve for civilian cyber defense what Raytheon does for the defense of nation states, and we think that we could unleash enormous potential in our company via a stock exchange listing," Matthew Moynahan said.
He said it was a little early to contemplate such a move, though, according to the newspaper.
Raytheon bought an 80 percent stake in Forcepoint, then known as Websense, from private equity firm Vista in 2015 for $1.9 billion and combined it with its own cybersecurity operations. Vista owns the other 20 percent.
Vista retains the right to exit the joint venture, including by requiring Raytheon to buy its 20 percent stake or by Forcepoint's pursuing an IPO.
Forcepoint made sales of $566 million and operating income of $51 million in 2016.
Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; editing by John Stonestreet