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McAfee to buy Secure Computing

Peter Sayer | Sept. 23, 2008
McAfee has agreed to buy network security specialist Secure Computing in a deal worth around US$465 million.

PARIS, 22 SEPTEMBER 2008 - Security software vendor McAfee has agreed to buy network security specialist Secure Computing in a deal worth around US$465 million, it said Monday.

Secure Computing's products include Webwasher, a tool for filtering corporate Web traffic; Ironmail encrypted mail servers; Sidewinder firewall appliances and SnapGear VPN (virtual private network) devices.

With the acquisition, McAfee hopes to expand its security-as-a-service offer, and to sell more products and services to Secure Computing's 22,000 customers worldwide. With its existing network security services, the company expects total network security sales of around $500 million a year. In 2007, McAfee's revenue from all product lines totalled $1.3 billion.

The acquisition would double McAfee's revenue from network security, said Chris Kenworthy, the company's senior vice president of worldwide marketing.

McAfee intends to make Secure Computing part of its network security business unit, reporting to Dan Ryan. The companies expect to close the deal around the end of the fourth quarter, subject to approval from stockholders and regulators.

Until that time, it's not possible to make detailed plans for integrating the businesses and products, Kenworthy said.

However, one area the company will examine is the creation of an integrated management console for the two companies' network security products, in much the same way that McAfee offers integrated management of its endpoint security and data protection products through its ePO (ePolicy Orchestrator) console, he said.

Like other companies in the sector, McAfee has been busily acquiring other products for its portfolio. In August it announced the purchase of Reconnex, a provider of risk management tools, for $46 million. Last year it acquired encryption and access control vendor SafeBoot for $350 million, and in 2006 it purchased Israeli data protection company Onigma for $20 million,

"The strategy is for McAfee to become the single source for an organization's security needs," Kenworthy said.

McAfee could make acquisitions to give its customers tools to deal with new threats -- but it could equally develop responses internally, or work with partners, he said.

Nevertheless, future acquisitions would remain firmly in the domain of IT security and risk management. "We're focused. We don't make video games. We don't do storage systems," Kenworthy said.


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