back to article Private equity firm coughs £1bn for Websense

NASDAQ-listed web content filtering player Websense is going private again after the board approved a deal with venture capitalist Vista Equity Partners (VEP). Under the terms of the transaction, VEP will cough $24.75 per share valuing the online security business at close to $1bn. This equates to a 29 per cent premium on the …


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  1. ecofeco Silver badge

    Churn, baby churn!

    Disco inferno!

    Churn baby churn!

  2. M Gale

    I knew I'd heard of Websense somewhere

    I've ran into their oh-so-accurate filtering before.

    So has this guy (apparently inaccessible from Websense IP addresses, amusingly enough)

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Was this not also the name BT gave its frone end to Phorn?

    Sounds like a sweet deal for someone.

    But who?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Was this not also the name BT gave its frone end to Phorn?

      "Sounds like a sweet deal for someone. But who?"

      Well shareholders have offloaded a company that has seen sales essentially stagnant over the last three years, and made a mere $20-30m profit annually. Getting a billion dollars for that is pretty good going, if you ask me.

      An equally interesting question is: Who do the private equity vultures think they're going to stuff with Websense in a few years time? They will be looking for at least fifty per cent more than they paid, and ideally much more. Who's going to buy Websense for north of $1.5bn when all the R&D has been shredded to give the appearance of profitability?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, right.

    So the stock went up 24+ percent after the bad Q1 news and before this announcement, even though trading over the six months prior was essentially flat. No chance anyone knew about the bid coming then I guess. Must have just been sheer determination to have Websense in the portfolio.

    I really, really wish the SEC would look hard at this type of improbable good fortune. It stinks badly of insider trading.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You don't know the pain....

    until your company goes to websense.

    Having sort of helped implement it, I have seen the various filtering rules. It is like a one-stop fascism shop. Block freedom of speech? Tick. Block Abortion pro/anti websites? Tick.

    Plus you don't want to see the fudge we had to put in place to get the fricking thing to work. I'm amazed our DNS still works.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: You don't know the pain....

      Ability to access any website you want to on your own equipment in your own time, tick.

      Ability to use work equipment for non work related web browsing whilst being paid to be doing a job, untick.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You don't know the pain....

        Being unable to access the UN charter on human rights while researching the UN charter on human rights for a college report? While at the same time, sites like FurAffinity are freely accessible?

        Also check.

        Websense, in fact most if not all web filtering, has nothing to do with whether a site is work-related or not. If it was, howcomes the Eclipse terminals at your average DSGi store, unless they've now completely blocked all Internet access, can still access websites that sell protein supplements for bodybuilders? Is creotine going to help the colleagues there sell more PCs?

  6. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    I called it Websenseless ..

    .. and that was a good 10 years or so ago.

    I have yet to find a reason to change that assessment.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not used WebSense directly before, though did use the Blackspider product before they took it over and that was quite good. Sounds like they didn't take the good stuff from that acquisition. Since WebRoot dropped e-mail filtering we moved to Symantec Messagelabs and that seems to allow more spam through. Was considering WebSense and Mimecast as replacements but things aren't looking good for either of those!

    Anyone got any other recommendations for a cloud based service? Dell Sonicwall? Looked at Cisco Ironport in the past but trying to get a demo, and pricing information was like getting blood out of a stone.

    1. M Gale

      Really, asides blocking obvious malware, why bother?

      I guess if you're in a school you have to conform to some standard or other so the blame can go elsewhere when the kids discover in graphic detail how useless web filters are. Though honestly, if it's that strict an environment, then set up a whitelist of approved sites and deny access to all others.

      If you're in a workplace? I presume your employees are adults. If you catch 'em slacking, deal with it. Websense ain't gonna help you there. Might even be a hindrance if necessary information ends up being stuck behind the censorwall because the word "condom" is buried twenty paragraphs down and five directories in, so the whole site is obviously porn.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I should have stated it was mail filtering services I was looking for views on for blocking spam/malware, etc and not web filtering.

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