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3Com acquired by Bain Capital Partners for $2.2 billion

In late 2004, 3Com was in a buying mood when it acquired IPS vendor TippingPoint for $430 million in cash. This past June, 3Com announced it was planning an IPO for its TippingPoint security unit some time in the near–or not-so-near–future. Now there’s more uncertainty for TippingPoint users, with 3Com announcing it will be acquired by private-equity firm Bain Capital Partners for $2.2 billion in cash.

As part of the acquisition deal, Chinese networking vendor Huawei Technologies Co. is set to gain a minority stake in 3Com, according to published reports.

In a conference call, 3Com Chief Edgar Masri insisted customers won’t know the difference. “It’s business as usual at 3Com,” he declared. “We’ll continue to focus on their current and long-term needs.”

Whether it’ll still be business as usual when the new parent company decides how to assimilate the pieces is anyone’s guess.

IT professionals we’ve talked to in the past have always had mixed feelings about the management of their security tools after they pass from the hands of one vendor to another. Some saw improvement in their security tools and services after an acquisition, while others have reported the opposite.

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