Israeli firm snaps up Sweden’s Protect Data

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., an Israeli maker of security software, has said it will buy Protect Data AB, a Swedish company, for $586 million.

Stockholm-based Protect Data is the parent of Pointsec Mobile Technologies, a data security systems provider.

By acquiring Pointsec – which secures data delivered over devices like laptop and desktop PCs, personal digital assistants, and cell phones – Nasdaq-listed Check Point said it “initiates the next phase of its corporate strategy: the addition of a data-security-solution layer.”

More and more, companies of all sizes in all fields have mobile and remotely based employees who need data from their networks delivered securely, said Ramat Gan-based Check Point.

“It’s good for them,” and at the same time, “it’s a challenge,” said Avshalom Shimei, who follows the company for HSBC out of Tel Aviv. Analysts were looking for the company to find “a new growth engine,” he said.

Protect Data’s board backs Check Point’s offer, Check Point said.

The deal price represents a 39 percent premium on the average closing price of Protect Data’s shares on the Stockholm stock exchange in the past 90 trading days.

Protect Data’s largest shareholder, Monterro Holding Ltd., has agreed to tender its nearly 10.5 percent of the company to the offer. The deal is also subject to regulatory clearance and other conditions.

In the first nine months of 2006, Protect Data’s after-tax profit more than doubled to $8.3 million as revenue grew 92 percent to $52.4 million.