IBM continues buying spree, acquires ISS for $1.3b

25 Aug 2006

IBM will spend $1.3 billion in cash to acquire Internet Security Systems Inc. (ISS), which performs network monitoring and analysis services for companies.

The deal values ISS at $28 a share, an 8% premium to ISS's close at $26 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. If the acquisition is approved by shareholders, the companies expect it to close in the fourth quarter.

IBM has now agreed to buy three public companies this month alone.

Two weeks ago it reached a pact to buy document-management software provider FileNet for $1.6 billion. On August 3, it agreed to spend $740 million for MRO Software, which helps industrial companies track physical assets.

Buying ISS could bolster IBM's ability to take on what it calls 'managed security services' for its business customers.

ISS helps guard against data theft and other problems with automated monitoring products and with technical consultants, who now will be part of IBM's vast services arm.

Based in Atlanta, ISS says its 11,000 customers include 17 of the world's largest banks. The company earned $38.5 million on $330 million in revenue last year; this year's revenue is expected to surpass $350 million.

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