Raytheon to acquire Websense for $2.4 billion

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Raytheon to acquire Websense for $2.4 billion

Bolsters infosec business following Blackbird buy.

US arms maker Raytheon has agreed to buy security software vendor Websense from private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, in a deal that values the company at US$1.9 billion (A$2.4 billion), according to people familiar with the matter.

Raytheon will combine Websense with its own cybersecurity operations and have an 80 percent stake in the combined entity, with Vista owning the rest, the people said.

The sources asked not to be identified because the deal has not yet been officially announced. Vista declined to comment, while Raytheon and Websense representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The deal comes amid strong demand for cybersecurity technology following a spate of high-profile breaches that have crippled businesses and rattled conglomerates such as Sony and Target.

Last month, Bain Capital, another private equity firm, agreed to acquire Blue Coat Systems from fellow buyout firm Thoma Bravo in a deal that the network security company said would value it at about US$2.4 billion.

Websense helps to protect companies from cyber attacks and data theft. More than 11,000 enterprises rely on its Triton security offerings, according to its website. Vista took Websense private two years ago for US$990 million.

Raytheon also bought privately held Blackbird Technologies, which provides cybersecurity, surveillance and secure communications to spy agencies and special operations units, for US$420 million in November last year.

Raytheon focuses on the defense and security markets. It had sales in 2014 of US$23 billion and has a market capitalisation of US$33 billion.

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