Raytheon Co. agreed to acquire Websense Inc. from private-equity firm Vista Equity Partners LLC for $1.9 billion and plans to combine it with its cyber-products unit, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The new company will be 80 percent owned by Raytheon and Vista will keep a 20 percent stake, said the people, who asked not to be named because the process is private. Raytheon will contribute $1.6 billion in cash to the new company, of which $600 million will be a loan, the people said.
Raytheon also plans to contribute Raytheon Cyber Products, a $400 million unit, to the new company, one of the people said. Vista will contribute $335 million to the new venture, the person said.
Raytheon is buying Websense to improve cyber-protection technology. John McCormack, chief executive officer of Websense, will lead the new company, which will operate as a division of Raytheon, the person said. Cybersecurity companies have soared in value as hackers have successfully extracted data from companies including Sony Corp., Target Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Representatives for Raytheon didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment left outside normal business hours.
Raytheon, the world’s biggest missile maker with products including the Patriot system, in November acquired Blackbird Technologies, a surveillance and cybersecurity company, for $420 million to bolster its intelligence business.
Websense’s technology allows companies to identify potential hackers and set rules around who can access confidential information. Websense’s Triton platform, which allows companies to adapt and respond to future cyber attacks, particularly appealed to Raytheon, one of the people said.
Vista acquired Websense on June 25, 2013 for about $990 million. About a month ago, Bain Capital agreed to buy Blue Coat Systems, another provider of Internet security technology, from Thoma Bravo for $2.4 billion.
Raytheon also considered buying Blue Coat, according to people familiar with the matter. Blue Coat makes hardware while Websense develops software only.