Network Security

McAfee to purchase Secure Computing for $465 million

Updated Monday, Sept. 22 at 6:41 p.m. EST

McAfee boosted its network security portfolio on Monday when it announced the planned purchase of Secure Computing for $465 million.

The deal means McAfee will inherit San Jose, Calif.-based Secure Computing's web and email security solutions, which include firewall and filtering technologies.

Santa Clara, Calif-based McAfee, best known by corporations for its intrusion prevention solutions, said in a statement that the acquisition will expand its security risk management product theme.

Vimal Solanki, vice president of worldwide solutions marketing at McAfee, told that the deal - expected to close later this year - was partially driven by customers' wanting to buy from fewer vendors.

"They're looking for cost reductions," he said. "Having fewer vendors but more overarching solutions helps that."

Mike Rothman, founder of consultancy Security Incite, said the two firms had little overlap in offerings, wich helped the deal make sense.

"It's a very logical move for both companies," he told on Monday. If you can get something to bolster your product line for a decent price, good for them. I think that's the right thing to do."

In September, San Jose, Calif.-based Secure Computing, with more than 22,000 customers in 106 countries, acquired Securify, maker of identity-based monitoring solutions, for $15 million.

But Secure Computing also seemed ripe for an acquisition, Rothman said. Longtime executive John McNulty abruptly resigned as CEO in April, and the company sold off its token technology to Aladdin Knowledge Systems in July.

Rothman said the company had trouble competiting as a top-tier standalone security firm since it purchased CipherTrust for $274 million in July 2006.

About a year later, CipherTrust founder Jay Chaudhry and CTO Paul Judge resigned. Chaudhry is now  forming his own Santa Clara-based on-demand web security firm, Zscaler, while Judge has founded a similar company, Purewire.

Under the deal, McAfee will pay $5.75 per share of Secure Computing.

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