Raytheon, an American defense contractor that specializes in manufacturing weapons and military/commercial electronics, is expected to announce its purchase of network security firm Websense this week, an acquisition which the company believes will help bridge the defense-commercial divide regarding computer technology.
According to sources familiar with the purchase, Raytheon has acquired 80% of Websense for approximately $1.9 billion, leaving the remaining fifth of the security firm to Vista Equity Partners, which bought Websense in 2013.
Websense provides security solutions that protect enterprises from cyber attacks. Its most well-known solution is Websense® TRITON® APX, which combines web, email, data, and endpoint security to protect clients from advanced persistent threats, targeted attacks, and new strains of malware.
Unofficial news of this acquisition comes amid a growing demand for information security technologies following a spate of high-profile breaches, including Target in 2013 and Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, defense companies such as Raytheon have traditionally experienced some difficulty training their staff, who are accustomed to dealing with the Department of Defense, for conducting business transactions in the private sector. At the same time, the Pentagon is oftentimes reluctant to allow some of its contractors to transfer technology to their non-military customers.
Raytheon’s executives hope this deal will address both issues. The contractor has long-standing deals with the Pentagon to sell some of its intellectual property in the commercial sector, whereas Websense is experienced in doing business with private companies.
Websense is not the only company to be acquired by the defense contractor. In November of last year, Raytheon purchased Blackbird Technologies, a company that specializes in threat avoidance and security analysis services, for $420 million.
At one time, it also considered buying Blue Coat Systems, a maker of hardware proxy appliances. Blue Coat was ultimately acquired by Bain Capital, Inc. about a month ago for $2.4 billion.