Private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo has acquired US security vendor Blue Coat Systems for US$1.3 billion.
Under the deal, Blue Coat shareholders stand to receive $25.81 in cash for each share of Blue Coat stock they own, a premium on the $17.50 share price the company closed with on Thursday.
Announcement of the deal caused Blue Coat's share price to increase by more than 43 percent, to $25.11, on Friday morning, however.
The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.
Blue Coat confirmed that it will continue to operate with its focus on web security and WAN optimisation.
“Over the last six months, our board of directors engaged in a comprehensive review of all strategic options available to Blue Coat," said David W. Hanna, chairman of the vendor's board.
“We look forward to completing the transaction under the terms of the agreement as expeditiously as possible.”
The vendor recently attracted controversy around allegations its products were being used by the Syrian Government to censor and monitor web activity during a violent crackdown against dissidents.
The company denied selling to the Syrian government upon inquiry by the US Commerce Department.
“We don't want our products to be used by the government of Syria or any other country embargoed by the United States,” the company said in a statement posted to its website.
The vendor provides a similar solution for the more than 200,000 laptops delivered to New South Wales high school students as past of the Australian Government's Digital Education Revolution.
The Blue Coat acquisition is Thoma Bravo's fifth security and IT technology platform buy.
The firm acquired Entrust, a provider of enterprise authentication and digital signature solutions, in April 2009, and SonicWall, which makes network security and data protection offerings, in June 2010.
Additionally, Thoma Bravo picked up LANDesk Software, a maker of enterprise IT management solutions, in August 2010, and Tripwire, a network security and compliance automation solutions provider, in May.
Scott Crawford, managing research director of security and risk management at consultancy EMA, said in a blog post Friday that Blue Coat's focus on security and IT optimization fits with the portfolio of solutions Thoma Bravo has gained over the past several years.
“I personally expect WAN optimization to play a significant role in integrating on-premises IT with cloud technologies – particularly when security must be integrated inline – and Blue Coat has strength there as well,” Crawford wrote.