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Security appliance vendor Blue Coat Systems today announced a deal to acquire anti-virus appliance firm Ositis Software in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $7.1 million.

Blue Coat is to pay $1.0 million in cash and 363,125 shares of Blue Coat stock as part of the agreement, which is expected to close early next month.

The acquisition will add Ositis’ eShield email and Web anti-virus appliance to Blue Coat’s existing portfolio of security appliances, which already incorporate content filtering and instant messaging control features.

Ositis is the world’s third largest provider of anti-virus appliances, according to figures from IDC. IDC predicts the $26 million AV appliance market will grow to nearly $466 million by 2007.

In addition to the eShield anti-virus appliance, Ositis is also a provider of the WinProxy Internet sharing and proxy software, which is used by more than 300,000 users worldwide.

Blue Coat's acquisition of Ositis is a further sign of consolidation in the network security industry, which is approaching near-frenetic levels.

Symantec and SafeNet have been snapping up smaller security specialists as if they were going out of fashion in recent months (doesn't that suggest they are going out of fashion? - Ed). SafeNet last week announced a $457 million agreement to merge with Rainbow Technologies whilst Symantec has forked out $300 million in cash to boost its portfolio in the space of only six weeks.

Earlier this month NetScreen Technologies announced a deal to acquire SSL VPN company Neoteris for $265 million. ®

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NetScreen nets Neoteris for $265m
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