The TOW weapon system, manufactured by defense contractor Raytheon, is used as a heavy assault anti-armor weapon.

The TOW weapon system, manufactured by defense contractor Raytheon, is used as a heavy assault anti-armor weapon. (RAYTHEON COMPANY)

Raytheon to Buy Cyber Security Firm Websense for $1.9B

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U.S. arms maker Raytheon Co (RTN) said it would buy cybersecurity provider Websense Inc from private equity firm Vista Equity Partners LLC for $1.9 billion, including debt.

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Raytheon said it would combine its cybersecurity unit, valued at $400 million, with Websense. Vista Equity will then invest about $335 million for a 19.7 percent equity stake in the new company, Raytheon said on Monday.

"This deal speaks to the growing importance of cyber security to protect enterprises, as well as government assets, from malicious activity and state attacks," FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a note.

Demand for cybersecurity technology has increased after a spate of high-profile breaches at companies such as Sony Corp <6758.T> and Target Corp <TGT.N>.

Austin, Texas-based Websense helps to protect companies from such attacks and data theft. More than 11,000 enterprises rely on its TRITON security offerings, according to its website. Vista took Websense private two years ago for $990 million.

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The new company, which will be headed by Websense CEO John McCormack, will be a separately reported business unit, Raytheon said.

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A board of directors will be formed for the new company and will include representatives of both Raytheon and Vista Equity Partners, the company said.

RBC Capital Markets LLC was the lead financial adviser to Raytheon. Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Steptoe & Johnson LLP and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati were its legal advisers.

Citi was the financial adviser to Websense, while Kirkland & Ellis LLP its legal adviser.

(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani and Devika Krishna Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)