Websense complete SurfControl acquisition

Takeover of UK-based SurfControl for £204 million formally completes after gaining regulatory approval in the UK and US.

Websense today completed its takeover of SurfControl, at a final purchase price of 204 million.

This is a slight increase from the 201 million figure suggested when the deal was first announced in April.

As a result, Websense has doubled its customer base - to more than 50,000 organisations worldwide - and now protects content for more than 42 million employees globally.

"After five months of integration planning, we're ready to demonstrate our support for SurfControl customers and take the next steps to deliver on our vision and strategy," said Gene Hodges, Websense's chief executive.

Websense is trying to reassure SurfControl users that they are safe in its hands. Apart from integrating the two companies' technologies, the company has pledged to continue to support the main Surfcontrol product, SurfControl Web Filter and Mobile Filter, until the end of 2011.

It has also committed to extend that product by supplementing the SurfControl database with Websense's own database of over 30 million web sites, including more than 200,000 high-risk sites, by the first calendar quarter of next year.

Websense has also offered "price protection" for customers' first renewal of current SurfControl Web Filter and Mobile Filter subscriptions, as well as creating forums for customer communication on any changes, including a new integration Web portal for SurfControl customers.

The acquisition represents a major milestone in Websense's growth strategy, said the firm, which centres on an expansion of its security product portfolio and customer base "through both internal development and acquisition".

Analysts seem reassured the move makes sense. "Over the last year, Websense dramatically expanded its product portfolio," said Brian Burke, programme director of security products and services at IDC. "Adding technologies and delivery platforms in high-growth content security markets provides its customers and channels with a broader range of security options."

"It also helps Websense further carve out its unique niche in the broader IT security market."

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