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Check Point Buys Protect Data

Updated from 9:13 a.m. EST

TEL AVIV, Israel -- Israeli security software maker Check Point (CHKP) made an offer to purchase the Swedish company Protect Data AB for about $586 million.

Protect Data is the owner of a developer of enterprise data-security software, Pointsec Mobile Technologies. Pointsec, which specializes in protecting enterprise and government organizations' mobile devices using automatic data encryption, received an offer from Check Point reflecting a 39% premium to its average closing price over the last 90 trading days.

The Protect Data board agreed to the offer, which is also supported by Protect Data's largest shareholder, Monterro Holding. The deal requires the approval of 90% of shareholders.

After a failed attempt to acquire the U.S. intrusion-detection company Sourcefire earlier this year, the latest effort offers investors a long-awaited sign that Check Point has finally launched the next phase of its corporate strategy -- the addition of a data security option to protect corporate information over laptops, desktop PCs, PDAs and smartphones.

"At a first glance, this seems like a very positive move for Check Point," says Gary Raskin, an analyst at Psagot Ofek, a Tel Aviv-based asset manager who covers the stock. "I was almost about to give up on the company after the Sourcefire deal blew up. This is something we were waiting to see for a long time."

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