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Monday, September 22, 2008

McAfee to pay $465 million for Secure Computing

Computer security company McAfee Inc (MFE.N) plans to buy Secure Computing Corp (SCUR.O) for $465 million, adding specialized equipment that keeps hackers from breaking into computer networks.  The move, McAfee’s biggest acquisition to date, helps the No. 2 computer security company expand the bundle of products it can sell to businesses.

The Santa Clara, California-based company said on Monday it will pay $5.75 per share of Secure Computing’s common stock, representing a 27 percent premium to the San Jose, California, company’s closing price of $4.52 on Friday.

Secure Computing shares rose 23 percent to $5.56 on Nasdaq, while McAfee shares fell 1.7 percent to $36.68 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

McAfee Chief Executive Dave DeWalt said the purchase will help round out McAfee’s line of products that help protect business networks.  The Secure Computing purchase will add 22,000 more customers in that area, he said.

Jefferies & Co. analyst Katherine Egbert said that while Secure Computing has great technology for protecting computer networks from hackers, it has a reputation for being difficult to use.  Ives called the McAfee deal “a better choice (for Secure Computer) than continuing to embark down a bumpy road in a tough macro environment.”

Posted on 09/22