Secure Computing to acquire Border Network

Secure Computing Corp., maker of high-end firewalls and security products, announced last week that it will acquire Border Network Technologies Inc., the second-largest Internet firewall vendor in the world.

Secure Computing, St. Paul, Minn., plans to acquire Border, Toronto, Ont., in an exchange of stock valued at $190 million. Secure Computing had 1995 revenue of $20.7 million, while Border had revenue of $3.3 million. The deal is expected to close in August.

The companies plan to combine their product lines under the Secure Computing banner.

The merger is an indication that companies are looking to provide security solutions that combine a broader array of products. With the merger, government customers will be "seeing a richer suite of products that are all managed from a single vendor," said Steven Lamb, co-founder and chief executive officer of Border. Lamb will become president and chief operating officer of the combined company.

Border had been the second-ranked firewall vendor in terms of unit sales, according to International Data Corp. The combined company would remain the second-place vendor, trailing only CheckPoint Software Technologies Ltd.

Kermit Beseke, Secure Computing's president and chairman, estimated that, with the acquisition, federal sales would represent about 40 percent of the company's business.

Before the acquisition, about 60 percent of Secure Computing's business had been in the federal market. Border had been less involved in the federal sector, generating about 10 percent of its business in that arena.

Lamb and Beseke stopped short of outlining any new products as a result of the merger.

But Beseke said, "I would strongly hint that you should look for a strong range of new products coming from us next year," adding, "Some of the mass-marketing skills of Border will enable us to take our high-end solutions and make them easier to use."

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