2018 Cybersecurity mergers and acquisitions


Cybersecurity makes for strange – and interesting and sensible – bedfellows. M&A activity was robust during 2018 with some notable acquisitions completed and others on the horizon.

IBM set to acquire Red Hat for $34 billion
IBM has entered into an agreement to acquire the open-source cloud software firm Red Hat for an estimated $34 billion in October. The all-cash stock deal has already gained approval from both companies’ boards, but still must pass muster with Red Hat’s stockholders and the proper regulatory agencies. It is expected to close in the latter half of 2019, the companies said.

Bitdefender acquires RedSocks
Bitdefender reported in October the acquisition of the Dutch behavior and network security analytics company RedSocks Security BV. The financial details of the deal, which has already closed, were not released, but Rares Stefan, Bitdefender’s chief strategy officer, said it was all cash with Bitdefender obtaining RedSocks and its technologies and assets in its entirety.

Imperva acquired by private equity firm Thoma Bravo for $2.1B
Imperva entered into a definitive agreement in October to be acquired by the technology-focused private equity firm Thoma Bravo for $2.1 billion. The deal paid Imperva stockholders $55.75 per share, and will take the company private. Imperva’s board of directors unanimously approved the agreement and the company will maintain its corporate headquarters in Redwood Shores, Calif. and continue to be led by its current executive team. The deal is subject to approval by Imperva’s shareholders and regulatory authorities and is expected to close either in late 2018 or during the first quarter of 2019.

Palo Alto Networks to acquire RedLock for $173 million
Palo Alto Networks reported in October plans to acquire the cloud cybersecurity firm RedLock in an all-cash deal for $173 million. The merged companies will see RedLock co-founders Varun Badhwar and Gaurav Kumar join Palo Alto Networks. The company plans to combine RedLock’s technology with that of, which the company bought in March 2018, thereby grouping to create a cloud security analytics, advanced threat detection, continuous security, and compliance monitoring into a single offering.

Cisco acquires Duo Security in a $2.35 billion deal
Cisco acquired Duo Security in a $2.35 billion deal designed to boost Cisco’s ability to increase security for its customers as they access more from the cloud. The acquisition of the privately held, Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Duo Security closed on Oct. 1. Cisco paid cash and assumed equity awards for Duo Security’s outstanding shares, warrants and equity incentives on a fully-diluted basis, Cisco said in a statement. Dug Song, co-founder and CEO of Duo Security, continues to lead his firm, which joined Cisco’s Networking and Security business led by EVP and GM David Goeckeler.

AT&T inks deal to acquire AlienVault
AT&T in July signed an agreement to acquire the privately held AlienVault with the intention of using the cybersecurity firm’s skills to help the telecommunications giant boost its ability to deliver security offerings to small and medium-sized businesses. The agreement was approved by both companies and closed in August. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Bomgar acquires Avecto, Lieberman Software
Bomgar in 2018 made a pair of purchases, picking up Lieberman Software in February and Avecto in July. The company said Lieberman Software was acquired to help boost Bomgar’s secure access software portfolio and give it access to Lieberman’s privileged identity and credential management technology. The reasoning behind the Avecto purchase was to enable Bomgar to defend against privileged access threats and improve compliance, productivity and performance.

F-Secure buys MWR InfoSecurity for $105 million
In June F-Secure reported it had acquired the outstanding shares of the privately held firm MWR InfoSecurity for $105 million. The Helsinki-based F-Secure said in a release that the merger makes it “the largest European single source of cybersecurity services and detection and response solutions.” The money needed for the purchase came from F-Secure’s cash reserves and bank financing, the company said.

Barracuda acquires Phishline
One of the first deals announced in 2018 was Barracuda snapping up the social engineering simulation and training firm PhishLine. The deal will give Barracuda the ability to provide gateway security, data protection, AI-based targeted threat protection, and user awareness training to combat email-delivered threats, the company said in a statement. A Barracuda spokesperson told SC Media that Phishline team members were brought into Barracuda’s operation and that the company would be fully absorbed by its new owner.

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