The 5 Biggest Security Acquisitions Of 2016 (So Far)

Acquisitions Keep Piling Up

Security technologies are evolving to handle new threats, and with that comes a vendor shakeup that extends all the way up to some of the biggest names in the security industry. That shakeup has come to a head so far in 2016, with blockbuster deals hitting the anti-virus, network security and identity markets. Some of the deals signaled increased market consolidation, as big vendors looked to get even bigger to get the scale and new technologies they need to succeed, while others pointed to private equity looking to get further entrenched in the security space. With rumors of more mega-deals on the horizon, 2016 is sure to be a year to remember when it comes to acquisitions in security. Take a look back at some of the big deals we've seen so far.


In most recent of the blockbuster deals, Avast Software announced on July 7 that it intended to acquire AVG Technologies. The deal, worth around $1.3 billion, brings together two security vendors with a big play in security software, such as anti-virus, for PC and mobile devices. Avast said the acquisition will allow it to "gain scale, technological depth and geographical breadth" and allow it to "be in a position to take advantage of emerging growth opportunities in Internet security." The combined customer bases of the two companies will include 400 million endpoints, of which 160 million are mobile, as well as extensive technology portfolios around Internet security, performance optimization, privacy and identity protection, cloud security and remote monitoring and management software. The deal is expected to be completed between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15.

Blue Coat Systems

On June 13, Symantec announced that it intended to acquire Blue Coat Systems from Bain Capital for a blockbuster $4.65 billion. The acquisition of Blue Coat propels Symantec forward, particularly in the area of threat protection, bringing a wide range of cloud and web security software into its portfolio. Chairman Dan Schulman said in a statement that the acquisition will "usher in a new era of innovation" at Symantec. The combined company, which will be headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. after the expected close date in the third quarter of this year, will have an anticipated $4.4 billion in revenue in fiscal 2016.

Dell Software

In a deal reportedly worth more than $2 billion, Dell announced in June that it intended to sell its Dell Software division to private equity firm Francisco Partners and the private equity arm of activist hedge fund Elliott Management. The deal includes almost all of Dell's software assets, including Quest Software and SonicWall, though it did not include the company's Boomi cloud integration business. The deal was the latest example of Dell shedding some of its business lines prior to the anticipated closure of its acquisition of EMC, including its SecureWorks security services business and Perot Systems.


While not technically a sale, Dell SecureWorks officially launched into the public market in April, with an initial public offering that raised $112 million. That was short of the $134.3 million the company said it expected in its Filing S-1 earlier in the month. The cybersecurity services division offers managed security, threat intelligence, security and risk consulting, and incident response services to enterprises. SecureWorks said it planned to use the new funding towards "working capital and other general corporate purposes," which could include growth initiatives, new solutions and other investments. Also revealed in the S-1 filing was mounting losses for the cybersecurity company, up to $72.5 million in 2016 on $339.5 million in sales.

Ping Identity

Ping Identity announced at the beginning of June that it had been scooped up by private equity firm Vista Equity Partners. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, were not disclosed. CEO Andre Durand told CRN at the time that the private equity move will allow the Denver-based identity and access management company to invest in acquisitions and accelerate its product growth. Ping Identity had previously been open about the fact that it was eyeing a 2016 or 2017 initial public offering, but Durand said a private equity move makes much more sense given the company's size and desire to return liquidity to investors and make acquisitions in the short term.

More To Come?

While these acquisitions have already been announced, there are rumors of more big acquisitions on the horizon. Recently, reports of Intel Security looking for a buyer emerged, saying that Intel had engaged bankers to talk about future options for the security division. Other reports have said FireEye is on the market, with the most recent Bloomberg report saying Symantec had been interested in buying the security vendor before its purchase of Blue Coat. Reports in January also said Check Point Software Technologies was in talks to acquire CyberArk, something the company denied.