Netscreen to buy Neoteris for $265 million

Neoteris ranks among top vendors in SSL VPN market

NetScreen Technologies Inc. today announced an agreement to acquire Neoteris Inc., a leader in Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) virtual private network technology.

The acquisition will cost Sunnyvale, Calif.-based NetScreen $245 million in stock and $20 million in cash, according to the two companies. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year, officials said.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Neoteris has more than 550 enterprise customers, according to company officials.

Of more than 25 vendors of SSL VPN technology, Neoteris had garnered 36% of market share in the first half of 2003 for the growing technology sector, making it the top vendor, according to research by San Antonio-based Frost & Sullivan Inc. Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc. lists Neoteris as a leader in the market, but market share data was unavailable.

SSL VPNs are a growing market segment, according to various analysts. Infonetics Research Inc. in San Jose said it expects the fairly new market to exceed $600 million in sales by 2006.

In another development, F5 Networks Inc. in Seattle today announced its new FirePass Controller, an SSL VPN that the company is marketing as a result of its acquisition of uRoam Inc. in July. This is Version 4.0 of FirePass Controller, but the first under F5 ownership.

Pricing will start at less than $10,000, and the rack-mounted unit is available today.

Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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