Netscreen to buy Neoteris for $265 million

FRAMINGHAM (10/06/2003) - NetScreen Technologies Inc. Monday announced an agreement to acquire Neoteris Inc., a leader in Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) virtual private network technology.

The acquisition will cost Sunnyvale, Calif.-based NetScreen US$245 million in stock and $20 million in cash, according to the two companies. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year, officials said.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Neoteris has more than 550 enterprise customers, according to company officials.

Of more than 25 vendors of SSL VPN technology, Neoteris had garnered 36 percent of market share in the first half of 2003 for the growing technology sector, making it the top vendor, according to research by San Antonio-based Frost & Sullivan Inc. Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc. lists Neoteris as a leader in the market, but market share data was unavailable.

SSL VPNs are a growing market segment, according to various analysts. Infonetics Research Inc. in San Jose said it expects the fairly new market to exceed $600 million in sales by 2006.

In another development, F5 Networks Inc. in Seattle today announced its new FirePass Controller, an SSL VPN that the company is marketing as a result of its acquisition of uRoam Inc. in July. This is Version 4.0 of FirePass Controller, but the first under F5 ownership.

Pricing will start at less than $10,000, and the rack-mounted unit is available starting Monday.

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