April 18, 2015 / 1:15 AM / 4 years ago

Raytheon to acquire Websense for $1.9 billion: sources

(Reuters) - U.S. arms maker Raytheon Co (RTN.N) has agreed to buy Websense Inc from private equity firm Vista Equity Partners LLC, in a deal that values the network security company at $1.9 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

Raytheon will combine Websense with its own cybersecurity operations and have an 80 percent stake in the combined entity, with Vista owning the rest, the people said on Friday.

The sources asked not to be identified because the deal has not yet been officially announced. Vista declined to comment, while Raytheon and Websense representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The deal comes amid strong demand for cybersecurity technology following a spate of high-profile breaches that have crippled businesses and rattled conglomerates such as Sony Corp (6758.T) and Target Corp (TGT.N).

Last month, Bain Capital LLC, another private equity firm, agreed to acquire Blue Coat Systems Inc from fellow buyout firm Thoma Bravo LLC in a deal that the network security company said would value it at about $2.4 billion, including debt.

Based in Austin, Texas, Websense helps to protect companies from cyber attacks and data theft. More than 11,000 enterprises rely on its TRITON security offerings, according to its website. Vista took Websense private two years ago for $990 million.

Raytheon also bought privately held Blackbird Technologies, which provides cybersecurity, surveillance and secure communications to spy agencies and special operations units, for $420 million in November last year.

Headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, Raytheon focuses on the defense and security markets. It had sales in 2014 of $23 billion and has a market capitalization of $33 billion.

Technology news website CRN first reported earlier on Friday that Raytheon had agreed to acquire Websense.

Reporting by Mike Stone and Liana B. Baker in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Ken Wills

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