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September 22, 2008

McAfee makes $465m bid for Secure Computing

McAfee is acquiring Secure Computing, creating a powerhouse in the network security space in a deal worth $465m.

By Janine Milne

Secure Computing is a key player in the network security arena, behind brands such as the Sidewinder firewall appliance and Webwasher web traffic filter. The acquisition will add network security strength to the existing McAfee portfolio with anticipated yearly sales of $500m, together with Secure Computing’s product strength in firewall, email and web security.

“So it means that the number one or two in network security meets our number one or two in intrusion protection,” said Dave DeWalt, CEO and president of McAfee. “This is a strategic deal that fills our product suite.”

According to de Walt, the match is also financially strong as well as strategically rock solid.

Secure Computing has 22,000 customers compared to McAfee’s 100,000, but only a small minority of those are in the network security space, creating a huge opportunity for cross and upselling between the customer bases.

“As the market consolidates we could continue to grow at 20-30% but we could never grow to be a major player, but then this deal came up – we have great sales team and distribution but not the reach of McAfee and we’re not such a recognised brand. Joining with McAfee and building a whole suite is a huge opportunity for our people,” said Dan Ryan, CEO of Secure Computing

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to approval from stockholders and regulators.

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