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Sophos bids €217m for data loss firm

Prevention is better than cure

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UK-based net security firm Sophos has launched a €217m ($342m) bid to buy data loss prevention firm Utimaco. Sophos intends to offer €14.75 per Utimaco share, a premium of 92 per cent on its closing price of €7.68 on Friday.

Investcorp Technology Partners, the largest single shareholder, has already agreed to sell its 24.99 per cent stake in Frankfurt, Germany-based Utimaco to Sophos for cash and Sophos stock. Sophos is following this up with a cash offer for all outstanding Utimaco shares at the same price.

If successful in obtaining 50.5 per cent of Utimaco's issued stock, Sophos intends to make Utimaco a new business unit within the company focused on data security. Utimaco's SafeGuard product, which allow firms to secure data from leaks by using encryption and policy management tools, will become a Sophos brand.

Sophos hopes the offer will close successfully in October. Independent of this, Sophos has agreed a deal to resell SafeGuard Enterprise worldwide.

Sophos chief exec Steve Munford said that Utimaco's product line will allow it to integrate endpoint protection, network access control and encryption products. "Information security should be as commonplace as anti-virus protection - no longer a nice to have, but a must have," he said. "Companies of all sizes are looking to protect against both external and internal threats, with one manageable solution." ®

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