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Infoblox $BLOX Exploring Exit Under Pressure From Activist Starboard Value

Infoblox $BLOX Exploring Exit Under Pressure From Activist Starboard Value

Infoblox (NYSE: BLOX) reported its financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter and fiscal year ended July 31, 2016, as the company is said to be exploring a sale under pressure by activist investor Starboard Value LP, which recently disclosed a stake of about 7% in Infoblox. The company’s market capitalization climbed 6.55% today to $1.22 billion amid ongoing potential buyout rumors. Infoblox reportedly hired Morgan Stanley to help defend itself from Starboard’s CEO Jeff Smith, who is known as “the most feared man in corporate America” these days. Indeed the $4.83 billion sale of Yahoo’s (NASDAQ: YHOO) core business to Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is said ti have come to fruition largely as a result of unrelenting pressure exerted by Starboard. “We had a strong finish to fiscal 2016,” said Jesper Andersen, president and chief executive of infoblox. “Fourth quarter revenue grew 5% sequentially, and we achieved record fiscal 2016 revenue.” Total net revenue for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 was $86 million.. Total net revenue for fiscal 2016 was a record $358 million, an increase of 17% compared with the total net revenue of $306 million in fiscal 2015. On a GAAP basis, the company reported a net loss of $10 million, or $0.18 net loss per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016, compared with a net loss of $5 million, or $0.08 net loss per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015. For fiscal 2016, the company reported a GAAP basis net loss of $14 million, or $0.24 net loss per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $27 million, or $0.48 net loss per diluted share, in fiscal 2015. The company also announced results of the Infoblox Security Assessment Report for the second quarter of 2016, which found that 40 percent—nearly half—of files tested by Infoblox show evidence of DNS tunneling, a significant security threat that can indicate active malware or ongoing data exfiltration within an organization’s network. Infoblox was recognized as the market-share leader in enterprise-grade DDI in a recent report from IDC. Infoblox market share increased to 49.9 percent in 2015 from 46.7 percent in 2014. No other competitor had a market share greater than 15 percent. Infoblox delivers actionable network intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. As the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI, Infoblox provides control and security from the core—empowering thousands of organizations to increase efficiency and visibility, reduce risk, and improve customer experience. Starboard Value LP is a New York-based investment adviser and activist hedge fund with a focused and fundamental approach to investing in publicly traded U.S. companies. Starboard invests in what it refers to as “deeply undervalued companies and actively engages with management teams and boards of directors to identify and execute on opportunities to unlock value for the benefit of all shareholders.” As of March 31, 2016, Starboard Value held 22 institutional investment positions with a total market value of $2.58 billion, according to its SEC 13-F filings, the largest of which was its stake in Yahoo Inc., consisting of roughly 12.3 million YHOO shares valued at $484 million. According to FactSet, through March 31, 2016 Starboard has waged 46 campaigns and gained a total of 66 board seats since its inception in 2011. Jeffrey Smith is the co-founder, chief executive and chief investment officer of Starboard, which was spun off in 2011 from hedge fund Ramius LLC, a subsidiary of the Cowen Group Inc. (NASDAQ: COWN) — whose chairman Peter A. Cohen, was the former vice chairman of Republic New York Corp. and former chairman and CEO of Shearson Lehman Brothers. Smith previously served as vice president and board member of his father’s company, the Fresh Juice Company, until it was reportedly sold for $20 million in 1998. He began his career in the M&A department at Société Générale, after graduating from the Wharton School of Business with a BS in Economics. Smith currently serves on the board of Yahoo! Inc., and is the chairman of Advance Auto Parts Inc. He was formerly chairman of Darden Restaurants Inc. and Phoenix Technologies Ltd., and formerly served on the boards of Quantum Corp., Office Depot Inc., Regis Corp., Surmodics Inc., Zoran Corp., Actel Corp., Kensey Nash Corp., and S1 Corp. Photo: Jeffrey Smith, Co-Founder, CEO & CIO of Starboard Value LP.]]>

@LifeLock $LOCK Hires Evercore to Seek Exit Under Elliott Hedge

@LifeLock $LOCK Hires Evercore to Seek Exit Under Elliott Hedge

LifeLock Inc. (NYSE: LOCK), an industry leader in identity theft protection is said to have engaged Evercore Partners Inc (NYSE: EVR) to defend itself against activist hedge fund Elliott Management Corp and explore strategic alternatives, including the possibility of a sale of the company. LifeLock’s stock jumped 6 percent, closing at $16.68 in intraday trading on Friday, after Reuters reported the story, bringing its market value to $1.66 billion. Elliott Management has more than $27 billion of assets under management. Its flagship hedge fund Elliott Associates LP was founded in 1977 by billionaire Paul Singer. The firm has offices in New York, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo, and has launched over 96 campaigns at 92 companies since 1994, according to Factset. Elliott has been actively amassing multiple significant company stakes lately, urging its long list of targets to seek lucrative exit strategies, including Citrix Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CTXS), which two weeks ago agreed to merge its GoTo business with LogMeIn Inc. (NASDAQ: LOGM) in a stock deal valued at $1.8 billion; struggling British discount chain Poundland Group PLC (LSE: PLND), which South African retail conglomerate Steinhoff International Holdings NV (FWB/JSE: SNH) agreed to acquire for $800 million; cyber security firm Imperva (NYSE: IMPV), founded by a team of prominent Israeli high-tech entrepreneurs, which recently hired Frank Quattrone’s Qatalyst Partners to explore strategic alternatives under pressure from Elliott; Polycom (NASDAQ: PLCM), which private equity firm Siris Capital Group LLC  recently agreed to acquire in a deal valued at $2 billion; Canada’s Mitel Networks (NASDAQ: MITL; TSX: MNW) which had previously offered to acquire Polycom; and Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC), which agreed to acquire Blue Coat, the #1 market share leader in web security, for $4.65 billion. Elliot had also bought a large stake in Qlik Technologies (NASDAQ: QLIK)(QLIK), a visual analytics company, which private equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC agreed to acquire for $3 billion in early June. LifeLock provides proactive identity theft protection services for consumers and consumer risk management services for enterprises. The company’s ecosystem combines data repositories of personally identifiable information and consumer transactions, predictive analytics and a technology platform. It applies predictive analytics to the data in its repositories to provide its members and enterprise customers’ actionable intelligence that helps protect against identity theft and identity fraud. LifeLock offers its consumer services on a monthly or annual subscription basis. It provides consumer risk management services, including delivering its on-demand identity risk, identity-authentication and credit information about consumers to its enterprise customers in the daily transaction flows. In February 2008, credit bureau Experian sued LifeLock for fraud and false advertising. Experian alleged that LifeLock placed false fraud alerts on behalf of its clients, thus keeping LifeLock clients’ files in a constant state of alert. As part of a 2009 settlement, LifeLock set up a new proprietary service that does not rely on setting fraud alerts. In December 2008 LifeLock entered into an agreement with TransUnion, one of the three main credit bureaus, to automate the process of alerting customers of potential unauthorized access via their credit reports. In March 2010, LifeLock was fined $12 million by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for deceptive advertising. The FTC called their prior marketing claims misleading to consumers by claiming to be a 100% guarantee against all forms of identity theft. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, referring to a LifeLock TV ad showing a truck, said that “the protection they provided left such a large hole … that you could drive that truck through it.” In 2015, the FTC found LifeLock to be in contempt of the 2010 agreement, and was ordered to pay $100 million to settle the charges for failing to protect consumer information and deceptive advertising, the largest monetary award obtained by the Commission for an enforcement action. LifeLock was co-founded in 2005 with $2 million in seed funding by Todd Davis and Robert J. Maynard, who left the company in 2007 amid controversy. In 2006 the company raised a $5 million Series A round led by Bessemer Ventures. In 2007, LifeLock raised $6.85 million in a Series B round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In 2008, it raised $25 million in a Series C round led by Goldman Sachs, followed by a $40 million Series D round led by Symantec Corp. in August 2009. In March 2012, LifeLock raised $100 million in a private equity funding round from River Street Management, with participation from its previous investors, to fund its acquisition of ID Analytics, an identity theft risk prediction technology. The company’s total pre-IPO funding amounted to approximately $180 million. In October 2012, LifeLock conducted an IPO priced at $9.00 per share, raising about $140 million. In December 2013, LifeLock acquired for $42.6 million Lemon Wallet, a digital wallet platform which stores payment, loyalty, and identification cards on members’ smartphones. Photo: Paul Singer, Founder of Elliott Management Corp. (Reuters/Steve Marcus)]]>

@Accenture $ACN Opens Israel CyberSec Lab, Acquires Maglan, Joins FinTech Floor

@Accenture $ACN Opens Israel CyberSec Lab, Acquires Maglan, Joins FinTech Floor

Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has acquired Israeli cybersecurity company Maglan from its founder and president Shai Blitzblau. Financial terms were undisclosed. Accenture also officially launched its new Cybersecurity R&D Lab in Israel, marking another key milestone in the company’s cybersecurity expansion and leadership. The announcement was made at the 6th Annual International Cybersecurity Conference taking place during Israel’s Cyber Week, which runs June 19 to 23. In addition, Accenture said it has joined The Floor, a new hub of financial technology startups based in Tel Aviv. The Floor was founded this year with support from Banco Santander, HSBC, Intesa Sanpaolo, RBS, and Intel Corp., to evaluate potential innovations for their clients and potentially their own strategic investments, while mentoring startups and strengthening their ties to the growing Israeli technology community. “In recent years, fintech investment in Israel has grown dramatically, with the number of fintech ventures growing from 90 in 2002 to approximately 430 today,” says Accenture. The Maglan acquisition brings to Accenture a team of highly skilled cybersecurity professionals, who honed their skills fighting cyber crime and confronting cyber espionage around the globe. The acquisition advances Accenture’s strategy of leveraging Israel as a cybersecurity innovation hub to provide clients with cross-industry cyber defense consulting. Maglan has specialized tools and methodologies that will augment Accenture’s full range of security services and defensive countermeasures, comprising strategy and risk management through enterprise and extended enterprise security. Based in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, Maglan was founded in 1998 and has performed extensive penetration tests for numerous organizations in Europe. Its clients include companies in the financial services, telecommunications and automotive industries. The  company specializes in offensive cyber simulation, vulnerability countermeasures, cyber forensics and malware defenses, and IT security research and development with a focus on threat intelligence. “The growing variety and velocity of cyber attacks today cannot be eliminated with standard off-the-shelf solutions,” said Accenture’s chief strategy officer Omar Abbosh. “Tackling the security problem from the perspective of the hacker is the name of the game. That’s why we are actively pioneering fundamentally differentiated approaches to cyber attack simulation, threat modeling, cyber investigations and security risk advisory services. With this acquisition, we are now able to further tailor services to our clients’ ever-changing security needs.” Accenture’ss Cybersecurity R&D Lab already has strong momentum behind it, bolstered by a new research agenda and collaboration with Team8, Israel’s leading cybersecurity foundry, to explore disruptive security technologies that will advance the fields of mission-focused security, active defense and Industrial Control Systems. Through Team8 and Accenture’s Labs Industrial Internet of Things research, teams will combine the latest advances in Industrial Internet security to provide clients with holistic solutions. “The newest Lab will take advantage of our global footprint and ecosystem partners in cybersecurity to give clients unparalleled access to emerging, intelligence-driven threat identification solutions and post-attack remediation procedures,” said Lisa O’Connor, managing director, Accenture Labs – Security R&D. “Our top priority is to empower our clients to be resilient to cyber threats and attacks, and to be able to take the right actions faster. That is why we are investing in Israel’s ecosystem and in advanced cybersecurity technologies that can spark powerful innovations.” “Whether due to spear phishing, malware or ransomware or a combination, the sophistication in attack vectors and cyber espionage is increasing,” said Maglan’s foundr and president Shai Blitzblau. “For nearly two decades, we have built robust security R&D capabilities and helped organizations across a broad range of industries adopt active cyber intelligent-driven approaches to address the rapidly evolving threat landscape and defensive mechanism. We are excited to join forces with Accenture worldwide, and to work with its cyber team here in Israel and across its network of Cyber Fusion Centers.” “While cybersecurity has become a worldwide issue, Israel’s cybersecurity expertise is well recognized globally as a hotbed of security innovation and talent,” said Nadav Zafrir, Team8 co-founder and CEO, and former Commander of Israel’s Technology & Intelligence Unit 8200. “We see significant opportunities to ideate with Accenture in exciting new ways to deliver integrated cybersecurity capabilities that allow organizations to shift the balance from reactive to proactive security operations.” The capabilities of Maglan will also form the core of a future Accenture Cyber Fusion Center in Israel and support Accenture around the globe. These state-of-the-art centers are dedicated to providing clients with one-stop access to a unique fusion of inter-disciplinary capabilities ranging from innovation and incubation to strategic consulting and transformation, to the managed delivery of a broad range of cybersecurity services. Accenture is continuing to expand its network of Cyber Fusion Centers and recently introduced a new location in Bangalore, India, joining existing facilities in Manila and Prague. With the acquisition of Maglan, Accenture has now made a total of the five investments in the cybersecurity space in the past several months. Earlier investments include the acquisition of FusionX, a company with a 20-year cyber defense legacy; the acquisition of Cimation, an affiliate of Audubon Companies and an Industrial Internet of Things consulting company; a minority investment in Endgame Inc., a provider of cybersecurity software solutions; and a minority investment in Team8, a cybersecurity foundry. Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders, with 373,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, generating net revenues of over $31 billion, and net income of over $3 billion in 2015. Fortune named Accenture as the world’s most admired Information Technology Services company in 2015.]]>