Cisco Snaps Up Sourcefire for $2.7B

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Cisco ( CSCO) announced a $2.7 billion deal to acquire security specialist Sourcefire ( FIRE), offering to buy the company for $76 per share in cash.

The networking giant will use Sourcefire's technology to provide protection "from any device to any cloud," according to a statement released before market open.

"The notion of the 'perimeter' no longer exists and today's sophisticated threats are able to circumvent traditional, disparate security products," said Christopher Young, senior vice president of Cisco's Security Group, in a statement. "With the acquisition of Sourcefire, we believe our customers will benefit from one of the industry's most comprehensive, integrated security solutions - one that is simpler to deploy, and offers better security intelligence."

Acquisition activity has swirled around Sourcefire for years. The Maryland-based firm has already been an acquisition target for Barracuda Networks and Israeli company Check Point ( CHKP), with the latter running into intense political opposition.

Sourcefire's Snort intrusion detection technology is widely used in the U.S. intelligence community, prompting Washington lawmakers to cite national security concerns about a possible sale to Check Point.

The acquisition has been approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close in the second half of calendar year 2013.

Shares of Cisco dipped 0.23% to $25.66 before market open, while Sourcefire surged 29.03% to $76.23, above the offer price. That suggests traders may anticipate an additional offer for the company.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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