Trend Micro is buying HP’s TippingPoint for $300 million.
This isn’t a shock. Word leaked about a month ago that HP was looking to sell the unit ahead of its split, Reuters reported.
Tipping Point makes devices that protect networks against attacks, including a firewall and a device that can run suspicious email attachments and apps in a safe way to see if they are malware or legit.
Tipping Point was a bonus company for HP. A network equipment company called 3Com bought it in January 2005 for for $442 million and it landed at HP when HP bought 3Com in 2010 for about $2.7 billion.
Selling it sort of makes sense, and sort of doesn’t. On November 1, HP will spin off its enterprise business into a new company called HP Enterprise.
On one hand, HP Enterprise has identified the security market as being one of four big bets, or big growth areas. It calls its growth areas “transform” (moving enterprises to client computing, “protect” (security), “enable” (support for apps/mobile apps) and “empower” (big data/analytics).
So divesting a chunk of its existing security business doesn’t on the surface make sense.
However, there’s a lot of competition in the market where Tipping Point operates, from Cisco to Palo Alto Networks, and Tipping Point wasn’t considered a leader in its market, according to Gartner.
Plus, in a blog post, HP was pretty clear that it wanted the money so it can go out and invest in up-and-coming areas of security, “TippingPoint has been an important component of our security offering but we have decided to partner in network security as opposed to own so we can invest in other areas of our security portfolio.”
Trend Micro is buying to give itself street cred as a bigger enterprise security company, beyond its existing reputation as a PC security company.