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NetScout buys Network General for $205m

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NetScout Systems wants to purchase Network General for $205m, the company said today. The takeover will be the third time the once-leading packet monitoring firm has changed hands, 10 years after McAfeee purchased Network General for $1.1bn.

The deal will consist of six million shares of NetScout stock, $50m cash and $100m of debt financing. The transaction is set to close in early November.

NetScout expects the deal to double its current revenue rate by fiscal 2009. It said a broader portfolio will drive faster revenue growth and "significant" cost savings across the combined company.

"Today, we are bringing together two established companies with complementary technologies to form a new stronger organization that will have the scale, technology and mindshare to meet some of the greatest challenges associated with virtualization, convergence, SOA and highly distributed network-centric operations," wrote Anil Singhal, CEO of NetScout in an exceedingly long sentence.

Private equity firms Silver Lake and Texas Pacific Group, which purchased the company in 2003, will become NetScout shareholders and are expected to join the NetScout board. The combined company will be based in Westford, Massachusetts.

NetScout is the third in line to buy Network General since its founding in 1987. McAfee had an unsuccessful merger with NG in 1997, and sold the company to Silver Lake and TPG in 2003. In its heyday, Network General had even passed up acquiring Frontier Networks, which would later become NetScout. ®

Ye Olde Chronology

  • 1987: Network General Founded with Sniffer software.

  • 1992: Passes on acquiring Frontier Networks (which becomes NetScout).

  • 1997: McAfee merges with NG for $1.1bn, renamed Network Associates.

  • 2003: Silver Lake Partners purchases Sniffer Technologies unit for $275m, renamed Network General (McAfee reverts to previous name as well).

  • 2007: NetScout purchase for $205m. ®

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