Check Point to buy Sourcefire for about $225m Staff

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. announced this morning it plans to buy privately held Sourcefire Inc. for about $225 million in cash and assumption of the company's stock options.

Redwood City, Calif.-based Check Point, which has spent the last couple of years trying to expand its brand beyond the firewall and VPN markets, said the acquisition will strengthen its market position in the increasingly competitive security space. "Over the past two years Check Point expanded its strategy from primarily offering perimeter gateway security solutions to provide a fully integrated architecture for perimeter, internal, Web and endpoint security," said chairman and CEO Gil Shwed, in a prepared statement.

Sourcefire, based in Columbia, Md., commercialized the widely popular open-source IDS tool Snort and has made inroads the last couple of years in the emerging intrusion prevention market. Check Point hopes to tap into Snort's fanbase through the company purchase.

The acquisition was approved by both companies' boards of directors and, provided it meets regulatory approval, will close in early 2006. The company is scheduled to release its Q3 financial report on Oct. 28 but this morning announced to investors it estimated earnings of 31 cents to 32 cents per share, compared with an earlier forecast of 30 cents to 33 cents per share. Revenue is estimated at $140 million to $141.5 million, compared with July's projection of $140 million to $150 million.

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