Thursday, June 14, 2007

SonicWall's Bargain Buy

My wife is pretty cool. She's one of the new generation of self-employed eBay mom's. But even before she started an eBay biz, she was a bargain shopper. One of the best. And I don't mean, "Look what I got for 35% off at Macy's!" I mean, "Look what I found for 99% off on the clearance rack!" Seriously - if bargains are ancient treasure, I married Indiana Jones.

Anyway, somebody over at SonicWall put together a deal that would make my wife very proud. Check it out: SonicWall bought Aventail this week for $25M cash. I don't write much about the firewall / VPN market, but if you know me you know that I've been doing firewall stuff for the past decade, and I still keep an eye on it. SonicWall is really only a player in SMB/SOHO market. Their enterprise stuff isn't even on the radar where Cisco, Juniper, and Check Point are concerned. But the weird thing about Aventail is that every time I talk to a client or a colleague about SSL VPN, Aventail keeps coming up. They're a small vendor, but they have a slick product, and they do well in trade press comparos. So the fact that they were purchased comes as no surprise. And with this deal, SonicWall just bought their way back into the market for practically pennies. Nice.

Plus, it's about time we saw an acquisition that made sense. It seems like the last 9mos have been nothing but mismatched purchases.

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