Cybersecurity company FireEye is selling its product business and brand to a consortium led by private equity firm Symphony Technology Group in an all-cash transaction of $1.2bn.

The sale will separate FireEye network, email, endpoint and cloud security products from Mandiant, an incident response and threat intelligence company bought by FireEye in 2013 for more than $1bn.

The remaining Mandiant brand will focus on its “controls-agnostic software and services”, which includes cybersecurity consulting for enterprises and a subscription-based platform that provides threat intelligence.

The deal is expected to close by the fourth quarter of 2021.

“We believe this separation will unlock our high-growth Mandiant Solutions business and allow both organizations to better serve customers,” said FireEye CEO and Mandiant founder Kevin Mandia. “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 prioritise investment on its cloud-first security product portfolio.”

Founded in 2004, FireEye rose to fame after conducting a series of high-profile cybersecurity investigations and operations. In December 2020 the company was targeted in the SolarWinds supply chain attack and published a blog post triggering an investigation into one of the worst cyberattacks on the US government in recent history. Up to 18,000 organisations were affected, including multiple government agencies.

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By GlobalData

Mandiant was brought in to assist with the recent Colonial Pipeline cyberattack that disrupted the supply of fuel along the US East Coast for five days.

FireEye is the latest big-name security acquisition by Symphony Technology. In March this year, it acquired the enterprise security business of antivirus company McAfee in a $4bn deal that is expected to close by the end of the year. Last year it bought security firm RSA from Dell Technologies for $2.08bn.

“We are extremely impressed by the FireEye Products business and the mission-critical role it plays for its customers,” said William Chisholm, managing partner at Symphony Technology Group. “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.”

FireEye’s board has also approved a $500m share repurchase plan.