At a time when cyber security is top of mind for many firms, Google announced it was paying $5.4 billion to acquire security intelligence company Mandiant, giving it access to security data gathering capabilities, as well as a team of hundreds of security consultants. The company will become part of Google Cloud upon closing.
Google Cloud head Thomas Kurian pointed out that companies were facing unprecedented security threats, especially as the war in Ukraine rages, and Mandiant gives the company a platform of security services to add to the Google Cloud platform.
“This is an opportunity to deliver an end-to-end security operations suite and extend one of the best consulting organizations in the world. Together we can make a profound impact in securing the cloud, accelerating the adoption of cloud computing and ultimately make the world safer,” Kurian said in a statement.
The company plans to pay Mandiant $23 a share, representing a 57% premium over the 10 day weighted stock price average. The stock is up almost 18% over the last year and took a nice spike in the last couple of days as rumors began to surface about a possible deal.
Patrick Moorhead, founder and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy says that the deal should improve and expand Google’s existing strong security stance. “Google Cloud has always had a good reputation for security offerings inside of its own cloud. The Mandiant acquisition opens the aperture to any cloud or on premise configuration,” Moorhead told me.
Gartner analyst Neil MacDonald, who watches the cloud security space carefully, agrees pointing out that when combined with the acquisition of Siemplify earlier this year, it is building a strong security business. “After Google’s recent acquisition of Siemplify for security orchestration automation and response (SOAR), the Mandiant acquisition is another clear signal that Google is serious about growing revenue in its security division – which is a part of the Google Cloud business unit,” MacDonald explained.
He added that the acquisition should enhance the company’s security argument, especially for potential customers who may still worry about securing workloads in the cloud. “By improving its security capabilities and brand awareness as a security vendor, Google also benefits by helping to remove security as an inhibitor to the adoption of GCP,” he said.
Mandiant launched in 2004 and raised $70 million along the way, according to Crunchbase data. The company was sold to FireEye in 2013 for $1 billion. Last year the two companies split with FireEye being sold to a private equity consortium led by Symphony Technology Group for $1.2 billion.
At the time company founder Kevin Mandiant, who had become FireEye CEO, said the deal was designed to unlock the value of Mandiant as a stand-alone business. It certainly fetched a much heftier price than FireEye did.
Mandiant took the position of many an acquired company, saying that the deal gave his company access to the scale and resources of Google Cloud. “Together, we will deliver our expertise and intelligence at scale via the Mandiant Advantage SaaS platform, as part of the Google Cloud security portfolio,” he said in a statement announcing the deal.
Before it gets to the finish line, the transaction will have to run the regulatory gauntlet and garner Mandiant stockholder approval. The companies are predicting a close date some time later this year.