Check Point: Delays, political climate to blame for cancelled merger

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Check Point Technologies and Sourcefire said yesterday that they are terminating a $225 million merger that came under intense scrutiny by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

Members of CFIUS had raised objections about the acquisition of Sourcefire by Israel-based Check Point due to national security issues. Based in Maryland, Sourcefire creates intrusion detection software that protects classified information on military and intelligence systems.

"Basically we agreed to withdraw applications based on a couple of things," said Michelle Perry, chief marketing officer of Sourcefire. "First the complexities of the overall CFIUS process, the lengthy ongoing delays and the current climate for international acquisitions."

The companies said in a statement that "it could be more effective to create a customer-focused business partnership" rather than to continue the merger bid.

"We've decided to pursue alternative ways for Check Point and Sourcefire to partner in order to bring to market the most comprehensive security solutions," said Gil Shwed, Check Point's chief executive officer.

Sourcefire has learned a lot from Check Point during the six months that the two companies were "engaged," Perry said. She said that her colleagues are now just relieved to be through with the process.

"First and foremost, the company is glad to bring the issue to closure," she said. "We have the utmost respect for the folks at Check Point, but we are glad to be moving forward either way. Prior to Check Point coming on the scene, we were heads down trying to run and grow this business as quickly as possible, and we weren't out there looking for suitors. So we are back to being there again now."

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