It's a post-Sony hack world as Blue Coat sells for $2.4 BILLION

VC giant Bain to acquire firm whose kit 'censored Syrian web'

Blue Coat Systems is to be acquired by Bain Capital in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $2.4bn, possibly preparing the company to go public again following its capture by Thoma Bravo for $1.3bn in 2012.

Blue Coat, declaring “strong market share and revenue growth” of late, focuses upon providing network and information security products. It claims 80 per cent of the Fortune 500 are customers, and says it offers them advanced threat defence, security analytics and encrypted traffic management.

“The acquisition by Bain Capital sets us on the trajectory to further grow our portfolio, better serve our customers and help us prepare to return to the public markets,” said Gregory S Clark, Blue Coat's CEO.

David Humphrey, a managing director at Bain Capital, said: “Cyber-security is an increasingly critical issue for enterprises and governments worldwide. We believe Blue Coat is poised to benefit from growth in its existing products, including cloud-based and advanced threat solutions, the development of new products and through further add-on acquisitions.”

The applicability of Blue Coat's products has previously landed it in hot water. In 2011, “hacktivist” group Telecomix dumped 54GB of log data revealing that Blue Coat products were being used by Bashar al-Assad's government in Syria during the Arab Spring, despite US export controls.

The firm later admitted gear it had believed to be destined for Iraq had instead been used to censor Syria's web.

The Office of Congressional and Public Affairs of Industry and Security accepted a $2.8m civil penalty from UAE-based distributor Computerlinks FZCO following allegations related to the transfer of the kit to the Syrian government. In 2013 the Washington Post reported that Blue Coat products had also been detected in Iran and Sudan.

Blue Coat states it does not condone any use of its products to abuse internet privacy or freedom of expression and introduced a Public Internet Access Policy several months ago in an attempt to prevent such abuses.

We contacted Blue Coat for additional comment on security collaboration between industry and government but did not receive a response before publication.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including requisite regulatory approvals, but is expected to close during the first half of 2015. ®

Sponsored: Practical tips for Office 365 tenant-to-tenant migration

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER


Keep Reading

woman on camera as she enters her home

Australian state will install home surveillance hardware to make sure if you're in virus isolation, you stay there

Could be a wearable, could be wired. Backed by big fines and jail
Illustration of location tracking in a city

Pervasive digital surveillance of citizens deployed in COVID-19 fight, with rules that send genie back to bottle

Israel is up for it. America, Iran, Thailand may be, too. China is there already, natch
panicked eye with Facebook logo reflected on surface

Amnesty slams Facebook, Google over 'pervasive surveillance' business model

Rights warriors want governments to actually, y'know, do something – anything

Beset by lawsuits over poor security protections, Ring rolls out 'privacy dashboard' for its creepy surveillance cams, immediately takes heat

CES Platform makeover declared a 'total joke' by internet activists
uyghur_muslim

Uncle Sam punishes China for abusing Uyghur Muslims – by blacklisting top AI surveillance companies

It will also restrict visas to Communist Party officials, too
balloon

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's two-dozen government surveillance balloons over America

Back at base, bugs in the software. Flash the message, 'Something's out there'... Floating in the summer sky, 99 Fed balloons go by
facial_recognition

The Feds are building an America-wide face surveillance system – and we're going to court to prove it, says ACLU

Civil-rights warriors sue FBI, DEA, DoJ over fears of secretive mass-spying network

Surveillance kit slinger accused of slapping 'Made in America' on Chinese gear, selling it to the US government

But sure, it's Huawei that's the big security threat

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020