Cisco, IBM may be interested in buying Imperva

Security vendor Imperva is shopping itself around and may be attractive to the likes of Cisco and IBM, according to Bloomberg.

The Motley Fool reports that Imperva’s stock rose 20% today after Bloomberg’s report, which the Fool notes could actually drive buyers away because it would mean a more costly deal.

Bloomberg named a number of other possible buyers including Forecpoint (owned by Raytheon and Vista Equity Partners), Akamai and Fortinet.

The Cisco rumor doesn’t fit well with the company’s expressed strategy of making the network a security sensor, says Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research. He says it is more interested in acquisitions that provide products that can augment into existing Cisco platforms.

+More on Network World: Cisco CEO Robbins: Wait til you see what’s in our innovation pipeline+

IBM has previously made a number of acquisitions to bolster its security offerings, including Resilient Systems Inc. in April. IBM topped $2 billion in security revenue last year, according to Bloomberg.

Imperva sells Web application firewalls, and breach and DDoS protection, among other things. Its technology partners include FireEye and Proofpoint.

The Bloomberg report says that Imperva has hired M&A advisers Qatalyst to shop around the company as a response to a possible takeover maneuver by Elliott Management Corp., which owns 10.9% of the company.

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