HP to buy SIEM vendor ArcSight for $1.5B

By Richi Jennings. September 14, 2010.

Hewlett-Packard is waving its M&A checkbook around again. This time, HP says it will acquire ArcSight, a vendor of security information and event management software. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers follow the money.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention Error'd...


Chris Kanaracus can cause a ruckus: [Five times fast? -Ed.]

ArcSight sells a series of products for monitoring suspicious activity on corporate networks. ... Will allow customers to detect threats, understand their impact and take corrective action. ... "Smash-and-grab" security attacks have been replaced today by more sophisticated and sustained attempts.


The acquisition is the second major purchase announced by HP in recent weeks. ... ArcSight had been a rumored acquisition target ... with Oracle, IBM and EMC also interested. ... Executives declined to discuss whether there was a competitive bidding process.

Eric Savitz adds:

Hewlett-Packard ... announced a deal to buy ArcSight for $43.50 a share in cash, or about $1.5 billion. ... The transaction is expected to close by the end of the calendar year. ... continues HP’s ongoing spending spree, which has included the acquisitions of 3Com, Palm and 3Par, among others.


ARST shares this morning have jumped $9.22, or 26.3%, to $44.32, ... in anticipation that other bidders could emerge. ... Other potential suitors for the company include IBM, EMC, CA and Oracle.

Jessica Breen watches the SIEM market:

Consolidation of security solutions is in full swing. ... In May 2010, Oracle acquired Secerno to provide database security ... IBM purchased Ounce Labs in 2009. ArcSight is highly complementary to HP’s existing security portfolio ... HP was formerly a reseller of ArcSight appliances.


ArcSight brings with it a considerable presence in large enterprise, ... including Verizon, Securities and Exchange Commission, Target, and Pfizer. ... ArcSight is a leading cloud-based and managed Security Information and Event Management vendor. ... Between ArcSight’s large base of over 1,000 customers and the capabilities the company will provide ... HP Software will see a return on their investment.

Andrew Jaquith calls it a "premium price for a quality company":

A few quick observations about the deal. The ArcSight acquisition should be seen against the broader tableau of the consolidation wave we have seen over the past two quarters.


All of these deals have a common theme: the acquisition targets are all leaders in their respective markets. ... We are at the point in the market cycle where the larger potential acquirers have enough cash in the bank to buy top-shelf companies. ... We will likely continue to see additional M&A activity through the end of the next year and into Q1 2011.

Cyrus Sanati also looks at the price:

The rich prices, while not struck under Mr. Hurd’s watch, are a result of his legacy. Mr. Hurd sacrificed the company’s once large research and development budget to bolster profits.


With the acquisitions and the recent pledge to buy back as much as $10 billion of the stock, H.P.’s huge cash pile is looking at little less formidable.

Meanwhile, David Chernicoff asks the big questions:

HP has decided that the best way to expand their datacenter and cloud computing business offerings is via acquisition. ... And the two previously acquired companies, Fortify Software and Stratavia ... along with ArcSight certainly strengthens HP position as a cloud solutions provider.


Automating enterprise cloud deployments while maintaining security and meeting regulatory compliance needs is an incredibly useful ability. ... The big question is one of how long it will take HP to digest all these recent acquisitions and deliver ... some form of unified service offering.

And Finally...

Driving February MPH in a 15-Oct zone (Error'd)

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Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itbw@richij.com.

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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