3Com to buy TippingPoint

Officials at 3Com said today they have signed an agreement to acquire TippingPoint Technologies, a maker of intrusion-prevention systems.

Officials said the acquisition enables 3Com to provide secure, converged voice and data networking solutions to enterprises and government agencies. TippingPoint's UnityOne line of network-based intrusion-prevention systems provides in-depth application and infrastructure protection for IP-based voice and data traffic. The security company also has a foothold in the government market with customers such as the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

"TippingPoint's products, solutions and employees are all world class," said Bruce Claflin, 3Com's chief executive officer, in a prepared statement. "The integration of TippingPoint into 3Com enhances our ability to deliver secure, converged networks to the enterprise market."

"Networking and security technologies are merging," said Kip McClanahan, TippingPoint's CEO. "As the market embraces the benefits of a converged networking infrastructure, there must be a shift from general purpose to purpose-built security solutions that are tightly integrated, performing at line speed and in real time," he said in a prepared statement.

Under terms of the agreement, 3Com officials will pay $47 cash per outstanding share of TippingPoint stock, a 13 percent premium over the Dec. 10 closing price. Company officials expect the total purchase price to be about $430 million, including acquisition costs and assumed options. The acquisition is subject to various standard closing conditions, including regulatory approval and approval by TippingPoint stockholders, they said. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 3Com's fiscal 2005 year.

TippingPoint will operate as a division of 3Com, and McClanahan will take the role of division president and report directly to Claflin.

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