Google’s Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai gives a keynote address during the opening day of the 2015 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona on March 2, 2015.
Lluis Gene | AFP | Getty Images
Google announced Tuesday that it plans to buy cybersecurity firm Mandiant for around $5.4 billion as part of an effort to better protect its cloud customers.
The Mountain View, California, search giant said it will pay $23 a share for the publicly traded firm, which was founded in 2004.
If the deal gets approved by regulators, it will be Google’s second-largest acquisition ever behind its $12.5 billion Motorola Mobility deal in 2012. Google sold the company to Lenovo for $2.9 billion two years later. Google’s third-largest acquisition is smart home product maker Nest, which it bought for $3.2 billion in 2014. Google is a unit of Alphabet.
Mandiant will join Google’s cloud computing division, which is yet to grow to the same size as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services.
“Organizations around the world are facing unprecedented cybersecurity challenges as the sophistication and severity of attacks that were previously used to target major governments are now being used to target companies in every industry,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, in a statement.
He added: “We look forward to welcoming Mandiant to Google Cloud to further enhance our security operations suite and advisory services, and help customers address their most important security challenges.”
The deal is expected to close later this year.
Shares of Mandiant closed up 16% on Monday after The Information reported that Google was interested in acquiring the company.
Mandiant, which has a market value around $5.25 billion, was previously under the FireEye umbrella before that brand was sold. FireEye was credited with helping Microsoft discover the SolarWinds hack that attacked government systems in 2019 and 2020.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a note to investors Tuesday, “With cyber attacks increasing by the day and cyber warfare underway from Russia/state sponsored cyber terrorism organizations, Google is doubling down on its cyber security footprint at the right time with Mandiant and looking to differentiate itself from the likes of behemoths Microsoft and Amazon in the cloud arms race.”
Ives said his firm expects the deal to have a “major ripple impact” across the cybersecurity space.
“Cloud stalwarts Amazon and Microsoft will now be pressured into M&A and further bulk up its cloud platforms,” he said.
“We believe cyber names such as Varonis, Tenable, CyberArk, Qualys, Rapid7, SailPoint, and Ping standout as potential M&A candidates in cyber security (among a handful of private players) given these vendors laser focus on protecting next generation cloud workloads from cyber attacks.”
Cybersecurity stocks have, at times, been resilient in the current market as most names see a heavy sell-off amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
— Additional reporting by CNBC’s Sarah Alessandrini.
Correction: The SolarWinds hack attacked government systems in 2019 and 2020. An earlier version misstated the time frame.