Cisco to buy cyber security solutions provider Sourcefire for $2.7 bn

Cisco Systems Inc, the world's biggest maker of networking gear, today agreed to buy cyber security solutions provider Sourcefire Inc, for about $2.7 billion.

Under the terms of the deal, San Jose, California-based Cisco will pay $76 per share, a premium of 28.6 per cent over Sourcefire's Monday closing price of $59.08.

Based in, Maryland, Sourcefire develops network security hardware and software from a next-generation network security platform to advanced malware protection for corporate and government customers.

Sourcefire was founded in 2001 by Martin Roesch, author of open source Snort, the world's most widely deployed intrusion detection and prevention technology with nearly 4 million downloads to date.

The company went public in 2007 and reported 2012 revenue of $223 million.

Cisco said that mobility, cloud and the evolution of the "Internet of Everything" are drastically changing today's IT security landscape, making traditional products insufficient to protect organisations from dynamic threats.

''The acquisition of Sourcefire adds a team with deep security DNA to Cisco and will accelerate delivery of Cisco's security strategy of defending, discovering, and remediating advanced threats, Cisco said in a statement.

"Sourcefire aligns well with Cisco's future vision for security and supports the key pillars of our security strategy. Through our shared view of the critical role the network must play in cybersecurity and threat defense, we have a unique opportunity to deliver the most comprehensive approach to security in the market," said Hilton Romanski, vice president, Cisco Corporate Development.

"With the acquisition of Sourcefire, we believe our customers will benefit from one of the industry's most comprehensive, integrated security solutions – one that is simpler to deploy, and offers better security intelligence," said Christopher Young, senior vice president, Cisco Security Group.

Cisco said that Sourcefire will continue to operate as a separate company and expects the deal to close during the second half of 2013.