Secure Computing buys CyberGuard

Secure Computing Corp. will purchase CyberGuard Corp. for about $295 million by the end of the year, Secure Computing officials announced.

Secure Computing sells network security appliances and Web filtering and strong authentication software. CyberGuard sells firewall and content-security software.

The acquisition will make Secure Computing the powerful player, based on total revenues, in the area of unified threat management, said Steve Miller, the company’s vice president for worldwide marketing.

Unified threat management combines firewall, Web filter, antispam and antispyware software under a secure operating system in a dedicated, all-in-one appliance, Miller said.

The purchase will push Secure Computing into the No. 2 spot, based on the number of seats, among sellers of Web filtering software, Miller said.

It will also improve Secure Computing’s performance in Secure Content Management, which prevents users from accessing unauthorized Web sites or parts of sites, Miller said.

Buying CyberGuard will double the size of the combined company and add complementary products and resources, Miller said.

The acquisition will broaden the product selection both companies’ customers will have and improve Secure Computing’s penetration of the high-end firewall market, said Matt Galligan, director of Secure Computing’s federal division.

The company will be able to expand its offerings to small and medium-sized businesses and increase its global reach as well, Galligan said.

Federal customers that will be most affected by the merger include the Defense and Homeland Security departments and the intelligence agencies, Galligan said.

Customers of both companies should not be worried about major shake-ups because “we’re not going to make changes any time soon,” Miller said. The companies have not yet decided when they will merge their product lines and under what name they will sell them, he said.

The companies have worked on the deal since March and announced it Aug. 18, Miller said. They are awaiting final approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission and hope to close the deal by mid-November, he said.

The final acquisition price will depend on the stock price of both companies when the deal is sealed, Miller said.

CyberGuard officials could not be reached for comment. The company’s site referred visitors to the Secure Computing announcement.

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