McAfee secures Secure Computing

It has long been thought of as something of a modern-day Wild West – a lawless frontier where criminals have the upper hand – and the Internet is still growing as a source of, and target for, malware and other information security threats.

In September 2008 security software provider McAfee – probably most closely associated with ant-virus software – dramatically enlarged its field of defence with the acquisition of network security specialist Secure Computing for $456 million.

The enlarged company will now be able to provide the “most complete” network security offering, McAfee’s Vimal Solanki, vice-president for worldwide solutions and competitive marketing told Information Age. The combined network security practice is expected to generate $500 million in annual revenues, Solanki added.

In its last financial year, McAfee’s revenues totalled $1.51 billion; Secure Computing earned $238 million. Some analysts said that the acquired company was critically short of cash reserves, and that this deal was well timed for both parties.

One important tool that McAfee is gaining as part of the acquisition is a network firewall. Ironically, Secure Computing acquired its Guardian firewall product – along with various other tools – from McAfee (trading under the name Network Associates at the time) in 2001.

Axon, axoff

In other M&A news, Indian IT services company HCL Technologies made a last minute counter-bid for UK SAP consultancy Axon Group, weeks after rival Infosys announced what it thought to be a successful offer for the company.

HCL said it will pay Axon investors 650 pence per share, putting a price tag on the UK company of £441.1 million. Axon’s board of director’s recommend that shareholders accept the bid, having done the same for Infosys’ previous 600 pence offer.

HCL’s management said that it had been in discussions with Axon since long before the Infosys bid was announced, having previously identified SAP support and services as a strategic area for business development.

According to Indian newspapers, however, interest in Axon among rival bidders was reignited when they saw how low Infosys’ initially successful bid had been.

“Infosys is considering its position and urges Axon shareholders to take no action at this time,” the company said in response to HCL’s bid.

Further reading

And so it begins…
Does Infosys’ acquisition of UK SAP consultancy Axon Group signal the start of the Indian IT services takeover?

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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