Global networking giant Cisco has agreed to buy cybersecurity experts Sourcefire for around $2.7 billion plus incentives.
In a statement Cisco said that it and Sourcefire will "combine world-class products, technologies and research teams to provide continuous and pervasive advanced threat protection across the entire attack continuum - before, during and after an attack - and from any device to any cloud".
The deal will help Cisco protect organisations from cyber threats through detection and protection systems including next-generation firewalls and advanced malware protection.
Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco will pay $76 per share in cash in exchange for each share of Sourcefire, and assume outstanding equity awards for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $2.7 billion, including retention-based incentives. The acquisition has been approved by the board of directors of each company.
"‘Buy' has always been a key part of our build-buy-partner innovation strategy," said Hilton Romanski, vice president at Cisco Corporate Development.
"Sourcefire aligns well with Cisco's future vision for security and supports the key pillars of our security strategy. Through our shared view of the critical role the network must play in cybersecurity and threat defense, we have a unique opportunity to deliver the most comprehensive approach to security in the market."
Martin Roesch, founder and chief technology officer of Sourcefire, added: "Cisco's acquisition of Sourcefire will help accelerate the realisation of our vision for a new model of security across the extended network.
"We're excited about the opportunities ahead to expand our footprint via Cisco's global reach, as well as Cisco's commitment to support our pace of innovation in both commercial markets and the open source community."
The acquisition is expected to be finalised during the latter half of this year, when Sourcefire employees will join the Cisco Security Group led by Christopher Young. Prior to this, Cisco and Sourcefire will continue to operate as separate companies.
Sourcefire was founded in 2001 and completed its initial public offering in 2007. The company is based in Columbia in the US and has more than 650 employees worldwide. For its financial year ending December 31st, 2012, Sourcefire reported a 35 per cent rise in revenues to $223.1 million.