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FireEye to sell products unit to Symphony-led group for $1.2B

Cybersecurity giant FireEye has agreed to sell its products business to a consortium led by private equity firm Symphony Technology Group for $1.2 billion.

The all-cash deal will split FireEye, the maker of network and email cybersecurity products, from its digital forensics and incident response arm Mandiant.

FireEye’s chief executive Kevin Mandia said the deal unlocks its “high-growth” Mandiant business, allowing it to stand alone as a separate business running incident response and security testing.

The move to split the two companies comes almost a decade after FireEye acquired Mandiant, and made Mandia chief executive.

Mandia said: “STG’s focus on fueling innovative market leaders in software and cybersecurity makes them an ideal partner for FireEye Products. We look forward to our relationship and collaboration on threat intelligence and expertise.”

STG managing partner William Chisholm said there is an “enormous untapped opportunity for the business that we are excited to crystallize by leveraging our significant security software sector experience and our market leading carve-out expertise.”

The company said the deal is expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter.

FireEye has become one of the more prominent names in cybersecurity, known for its research into hacking groups — some linked to governments — and its Mandiant unit for responding to major security incidents. Mandiant was called in to help Colonial Pipeline recover from a recent ransomware attack.

In December, FireEye admitted that its own networks had been hacked, a move praised across the cybersecurity industry for helping to speed up efforts that led to the discovery of the SolarWinds espionage attack, later attributed to Russian foreign intelligence.

FireEye becomes the latest cybersecurity giant in STG’s portfolio. In March, Symphony bought McAfee’s enterprise business for $4 billion, and last year bought RSA for $2 billion.

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