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Private Equity Acquires FireEye, But Not Mandiant

Private equity firm Symphony Technology Group (STG) is acquiring FireEye's security products business and the FireEye brand for roughly $1.2 billion. The deal does not include FireEye's Mandiant Solutions business.

Post-closing, the STG-owned assets will be privately held. But the Mandiant Solutions business will continue to be a publicly traded company. A new ticker symbol (to succeed FEYE) will be annouinced in the coming weeks, a spokesperson says.

This is technology M&A deal number 300 that MSSP Alert and sister site ChannelE2E have covered so far in 2021. See all technology M&A deals for 2021 and 2020 listed here.

STG has been an active buyer in the cybersecurity software market. The private equity firm purchased McAfee's enterprise business for $4.0 billion in March 2021.

The STG-FireEye deal will essentially break apart the FireEye-Mandiant merger of 2014. That merger created some synergies to help enterprise customers. But the 2014 merger also created some channel conflicts since Mandiant relies heavily on consulting and security services engagements.

The Mandiant portion of the business has been involved in major cyberattack investigations, including the SolarWinds Orion breach -- which SolarWinds discovered and disclosed in December 202o.

FireEye and Mandiant Break-up: Deal Details

Fast forward to present day, and here's how FireEye and Mandiant now plan to part ways:

  • The deal is expected to close before the end of 2021.
  • STG will gain FireEye's network, email, endpoint, and cloud security products, along with the related security management and orchestration platform.
  • Mandiant’s controls-agnostic software and services are not included in the deal.
  • The FireEye and Mandiant businesses will continue to operate as a single entity until the deal closes.
  • Post-deal, FireEye and Mandiant will maintain a reseller and market cooperation agreement, a strategic collaboration agreement, and a transition services agreement.
  • The FireEye-Mandiant relationship, post deal, will ensure customers and partners  continue to benefit from shared technology, telemetry, threat intelligence, and expertise.

STG Acquires FireEye: Executive Perspectives

In a prepared statement, FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia said:

“We believe this separation will unlock our high-growth Mandiant Solutions business and allow both organizations to better serve customers. After closing, we will be able to concentrate exclusively on scaling our intelligence and frontline expertise through the Mandiant Advantage platform, while the FireEye Products business will be able to prioritize investment on its cloud-first security product portfolio. STG’s focus on fueling innovative market leaders in software and cybersecurity makes them an ideal partner for FireEye Products. We look forward to our relationship and collaboration on threat intelligence and expertise.”

Added William Chisholm, managing partner at STG:

“We are extremely impressed by the FireEye Products business and the mission critical role it plays for its customers. We believe that there is enormous untapped opportunity for the business that we are excited to crystallize by leveraging our significant security software sector experience and our market leading carve-out expertise.”

The executives did not say who will run FireEye once the deal is completed. It's a relatively safe bet that current FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia will remain with his namesake -- the Mandiant business.

FireEye and Mandiant: Who Does What?

Mandiant Solutions will specialize in threat intelligence, allowing customers to automate alert investigation and prioritization, and validate the effectiveness of security controls products from any vendor.

Meanwhile, FireEye’s intelligent, cloud-first XDR platform delivers detection, protection, and response for more than 50 percent of the Forbes Global 2000, the company says.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.