Cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc. (Nasdaq: FEYE) has acquired iSight Partners, a privately held competitor, for $200 million in cash, plus potentially $75 million in cash and equity by mid-2018.
FireEye, based in Milpitas, California, offers real-time protection to clients, including governments, against cyber threats that can circumvent firewalls and other traditional blocking measures. The company reports having 4,000 customers in 67 countries, including 650 of the world’s largest 2000 companies.
Dallas-based iSight offers an “intelligence network” that tracks cyber threats, with a staff of nearly 350, including more than 250 cyber threat experts covering 29 languages, according to FireEye. With the addition of iSight, FireEye’s customers will immediately have increased protection from the iSight network information, which will be fed into a system that is updated every hour.
In August, iSight was planning to raise $100 million or more through the sale of debt or equity in the fourth quarter of 2015, and to hold an initial public offering valuing the company at $1 billion or more by the end of 2016, Reuters reported. FireEye’s acquisition closed on Jan. 16 and the deal was announced Jan. 20.
FireEye’s own IPO was in 2013, when it went public at $20 per share. The share price peaked in 2014 at more than $80, but on Jan. 20 it reached an all-time low, below $16.
ISight’s shareholders could be paid $75 million above the $200 million purchase price, if certain sales figures—which were not made public—are reached before the middle of 2018.
Cybersecurity firms often gain visibility by releasing reports on cyber threats. ISight won publicity with its reports on the Sandworm threat from Russian hackers, which has been attacking Windows operating systems since 2009 and caused widespread power outages in Ukraine on Dec. 23. FireEye has been labeled in various news reports as the “go-to” investigator, or commentator, for cyber attacks by China and North Korea, among others, and against targets such as JP Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), Sony Pictures (NYSE: SNE), Target (NYSE: TGT) and the U.S. government.
Recent cybersecurity-related middle-market deals have included Chertoff Group of Washington, D.C., and Carlyle Group (Nasdaq: CG) of New York partnering up to back Coalfire Systems Inc., a Westminster, Colorado, firm that protects clients from data theft and cybersecurity breaches.
CVC Capital Partners announced an $80 million growth equity investment in Kount Inc., a Boise, Idaho, company that provides online and mobile device fraud detection for the retail, gaming and financial services sectors. TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) acquired Trustev, an identity theft technology company in Cork, Ireland, for $21 million plus up to $23 million based on performance. And Caci International Inc. (NYSE: CACI) announced it was buying L-3 National Security Solutions Inc. of Arlington, Virginia, which provides cybersecurity and other services to U.S. government agencies, for $550 million.