M&A Roundup: Security, Networking Deals Kick Off New Year

The normally quiet holiday period was just the opposite for a number of technology vendors that announced strategic acquisitions.

This week Symantec expanded its security reach into the instant messaging arena with the acquisition of IMlogic, a maker of IM enterprise software. Terms of the deal were not announced.

As corporate use of IM increases and the technology becomes more sophisticated, with features such as regulatory compliance, archiving and the use of attachments, the need to secure messaging platforms has increased exponentially. Consumers already send more than 12 billion messages daily, and the real-time capabilities of such applications means they're being used to make more on-the-spot business decisions than ever. On the flip side, though, as IM gains more functionality, it also becomes a more attractive target for hackers.

Symantec and IMlogic have partnered before to deliver solutions for protecting IM from Internet threats, malware and spam, and Symantec's Security Response division has worked with the IMlogic Threat Center for some time. Once the deal is complete, IMlogic's threat detection and remediation for IM will be integrated into Symantec's early warning and response system, bolstering the capabilities of Symantec Security Response. Symantec's Enterprise Vault e-mail and content archiving has been integrated with IMlogic's IM Manager since 2002.

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Also this week, wireless telephony provider SpectraLink bought KIRK telecom (KIRK), a Denmark-based provider of on-site wireless communications solutions, based in Denmark.

The deal is valued at about $62 million and increases SpectraLink's international reach by augmenting its distribution channels and geographical market penetration. The purchase also expands SpectraLink's product portfolio to include major enterprise wireless voice technologies such as Wi-Fi, DECT and proprietary systems.

Last week Nortel acquired Tasman Networks, a maker of enterprise wide-area network IP routers for $99.5 million. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2006. Nortel will use Tasman's technology to develop end-to-end, converged, secure IP telephony and multimedia networks that will be marketed as part of Nortel's Secure Router line for SMB branch office deployments.

Also last week, Pegasus Wireless bought a 51 percent controlling interest in CNet Technology, a China-based designer and manufacturer of computer network equipment, including wireless devices. The acquisition of CNet's manufacturing subsidiary will allow Pegasus to centralize and accelerate the assembly of its own products and of goods for companies abroad. The first products resulting from the deal are expected to be available within 30 days.