Weapons maker Raytheon to acquire Websense: sources

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Weapons maker Raytheon to acquire Websense: sources
Raytheon's Naval Strike Missile

Defence contractor Raytheon has agreed to acquire security vendor Websense, in a deal that adds content filtering, antimalware protection and data leakage prevention, sources familiar with the matter told CRN USA.

Raytheon plans to announce the deal on Monday, according to the sources, who did not know how much the defense contractor is paying to acquire Websense.

Websense is owned by private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, which acquired the security vendor for $907 million in 2013. Bloomberg reported last month that Vista had hired Citigroup to sell Websense for more than $1 billion.

Raytheon didn't respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment.

"It is a longstanding policy of Websense to not speculate on rumors," a spokesman for the Austin, Texas-based vendor said via email.

Raytheon is one of several global defence contractors that are paying more attention to security these days. British defence contractor BAE Systems acquired SilverSky, a New York City-based managed security service provider, for $232 million in October.

Raytheon also acquired Blackbird Technologies, a security and surveillance vendor with close government ties, for $420 million last November.

"Raytheon's cybersecurity segment should be a significant bright spot for the company moving forward, adding immense potential upside to the $34 billlion company," Seeking Alpha said in a report last month.

Websense started out in 1994 as a vendor of content filtering technology, and its main pitch at the time was to companies that were looking to control their employees' web surfing. Over time, Websense has added data leak prevention and web security gateway technology to the mix.

Bloomberg reported last month that Raytheon and Websense were in acquisition talks.

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