Websense acquires competitor SurfControl for $400 million

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Leading web security provider Websense has taken a big chunk out of its competition, announcing today plans to acquire U.K.-based SurfControl for about $400 million.

San Diego-based Websense, a public company traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange, snatched its closest competitor to help it "compete more effectively with large global security software companies," CEO Gene Hodges said in a statement today.

The purchase will help Websense — makers of web filtering, leak prevention and internet security solutions — jumpstart its latest business objective: to better penetrate the small- and medium-sized business marketplace, the company said.

According to a letter sent by Hodges to customers, the deal also will allow Websense to deliver new software-as-a-service (SaaS) email security through BlackSpider Technologies, a U.K.-based on-demand provider that was acquired last year by SurfControl.

"This is an offer that is fully supported by SurfControl’s management team," Hodges said on a conference call today.

Websense today also named Doug Wride president. He will continue his role as chief financial officer but will now also be responsible for overseeing the acquisition.

Click here to email reporter Dan Kaplan.

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