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February 22, 2023
That’s according to Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter. It said AT&T has been working with Barclays to solicit potential bids for its cybersecurity business. AT&T acquired AlienVault in a roughly $600 million deal.
It’s not clear how much the business could sell for now. Upon completion of the deal, AlienVault became AT&T Cybersecurity.
At the time of the acquisition, AT&T said AlienVault’s offerings would complement its edge-to-edge intelligence capabilities.
Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.
AT&T Cybersecurity offers managed network security services. It helps centralize protection against web-based attacks while enabling network traffic management capabilities over multiple network transport types.
The sale of the cybersecurity business would add to a number of divestments AT&T has turned to in order to pay down debt following its $109 billion acquisition of Time Warner in 2018, according to Reuters. AT&T subsequently spun off WarnerMedia.
We couldn’t reach AT&T for comment.
Rik Turner is a senior principal analyst with Omdia, which shares a parent company with Channel Futures (Informa). He said if the news is correct, it would suggest a failure by AT&T to realize the potential of its AlienVault acquisition.
Omdia’s Rik Turner
“AlienVault was quite a good and well-known ‘security information and event management (SIEM) lite’ product, which was reasonably well established in the market,” he said. “Speaking to AT&T shortly after the acquisition, they were talking about putting it at the center of a security services offering for business customers.”
This sounded like AT&T was trying to raise its profile in cyber and potentially even catch up with much more widely recognized expertise and capabilities, Turner said. It also likely was trying to catch up with archrival Verizon. It has a much higher profile in the sector. That’s in part to its annual Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR).
If AT&T is considering a sale of its cyber business, that would suggest that “they didn’t really manage to do anywhere near as much as they’d hoped or expected from that acquisition,” Turner said.
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