US defense giant Raytheon has acquired control of cybersecurity firm Websense from Vista Equity Partners, for $1.9 billion. It then will spin out the acquisition into a new cyber venture or company and combined it with Raytheon’s Cyber Product division, which according to the company has a book price of $400 million.
Websense’s current owner Vista Equity Partners LLC will additionally contribute $335 million to the newly formed company. The new company will be 80 percent owned by Raytheon and Vista Equity Partners will keep the remaining 20 percent stake. Websense CEO John McCormack will lead the newly formed company, which will operate as a subsidiary of Raytheon.
Thomas Kennedy, Chairman and CEO, Raytheon, said in a statement that: “The new venture will combine Raytheon cyber products and Websense capabilities too deliver the advanced, defense-grade technology solutions needed to meet this evolving threat.”
Founded in 1994, Websense is an Austin-based company specializing in computer security software. It makes software that blocks websites and enables companies to inspect traffic and filter email for security and threats. Websense’s software solutions are used by businesses and government institutions to protect their networks from cybercrime, malware and hackers, as well as prevent users from viewing sexual of other inappropriate content and discourage employees from browsing non-work related websites.
Websense currently has more than 21,000 customers, 2,200 channel partners, and has over 1,500 employees located around the world. While the company started in 1994 as a security reseller, it transformed into a content-security company throughout the past decade. In 2010, Websense made its biggest salvo when it launched its Triton data security platform. Websense’s Triton security platform offers security solutions that unify web, email, data and endpoint security with a low total cost of ownership. Triton security platform prevents data breaches, IP theft and enforces security compliance, it used by tens of thousands of enterprises to stop advanced persistent threats (APT), targeted attacks and sophisticated malware.
The deal was announced at the RSA Security 2015 Conference, the world\’s largest cyber security gathering, in Moscone Center, San Francisco. Vista Equity acquired Websense and taken private (delisted from (NASDAQ) in June 2013 for $907 million or $24.75 per share. Vista Equity thus made a huge profit of about $1 billion in the deal with Raytheon after holding Websense for less than two years.
Massachusetts-based Raytheon is a major American defense contractor with core manufacturing concentrations in weapons and military hardware. The company is a leading defense contractor and the world\’s largest producer of guided missiles including patriot and tomahawk cruise missile. Websense isn’t the first acquisition Raytheon has made in the cybersecurity space. In November 2014, Raytheon acquired cyber security company BlackBird Technologies for $420 million.