Cisco, the world's largest maker of computer networking equipment, says it has acquired cybersecurity software company Splunk in a blockbuster deal worth $28 billion in cash at $157 per share in cash.
Splunk, which produces software for searching, monitoring, and analyzing machine-generated data via a web-style interface, helps businesses monitor and analyze data for enhanced security and quicker issue resolution.
With the acquisition, Splunk’s security expertise will seamlessly integrate with Cisco’s existing security portfolio, offering comprehensive security analytics and coverage that spans from devices to applications to cloud environments.
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This move is driven by Cisco's strategic shift towards cybersecurity amidst disruptions caused by the public cloud. It seeks to bolster its security offerings and integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into its solutions, aiming to revolutionize threat detection, response, prediction, and prevention for organisations of all sizes.
Currently valued at $217 billion, according to companiesmarketcap.com, it marks a significant departure from Cisco's historical avoidance of major acquisitions. This substantial sum accounts for approximately 13% of Cisco's market capitalization.
In recent years, Cisco has made several acquisitions in the cybersecurity space, including Armorblox, Oort, Valtix, and Lightspin. Its largest acquisition was the $6.9 billion purchase of Scientific Atlanta in 2006.
To finance this acquisition, Cisco will utilize a combination of cash and debt. But while this acquisition is poised to position Cisco as a key player in the software cybersecurity landscape, it faces challenges, including potential product overlap and regulatory scrutiny. Cisco's stock performance has also lagged behind the tech market, making this strategic shift vital.
It remains to be seen how this acquisition will impact Cisco's future in the cybersecurity sector and whether it will be able to strengthen its competitive position in this critical market. Nevertheless, Cisco's willingness to invest significantly in this space underscores the growing importance of cybersecurity in the digital age.