Security software vendor Sophos has leapt into the $2bn (£1.2bn) unified threat management (UTM) market by acquiring Astaro.
Germany- and US-headquartered Astaro is a top-four UTM player with 2010 billings of $56m. It has more than 56,000 installations and a network of 2,500 resellers.
The acquisition is in line with Sophos's recent pledge to ramp up acquisitive growth in the wake of its majority takeover by private-equity house Apax Partners.
It will also thrust Sophos into the network security market for the first time, and bolster its goal of becoming a $1bn firm within four years.
Steve Munford, chief executive of Sophos, said: "The combination of Astaro's comprehensive portfolio of network security solutions alongside our end point, mobile, and email and web threat and data protection capabilities will enable us to continue to deliver on our vision of providing complete security without complexity wherever the user and company data resides."
According to IDC, privately held Astaro is the world's fourth-largest player in a UTM market worth $2bn last year and boasting an anticipated CAGR of 13 per cent between 2010 and 2014.
Jan Hichert, chief executive of Astaro, said: "We are excited to join forces with Sophos, as we share a common mission and passion for providing the most comprehensive security solutions that are also easy to use. Together, we will deliver to customers the ability to apply consistent security and web and application controls regardless of where the user is or where the network boundary may lie."
The acquisition is set to close next month.
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