VMware splashes out $1.54bn on mobile security firm Airwatch


Virtualisation giant VMware has agreed to acquire mobile security firm Airwatch for $1.54 billion to bolster its end user computing portfolio.

Airwatch specialises in enterprise-focused mobile device management tools and claims to have more than 10,000 customers across the world.

It also boasts a 1,600-strong global workforce, all of whom will continue to report to the company's founder and CEO John Marshall once the deal completes.

The acquisition has already won the approval of both firms' board of directors and is expected to close before the end of Q1 2014.

After this, the company will become part of VMware's end user computing arm, and is expected to form the focal point of its mobile operations.

Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware, explained: "With this acquisition VMware will add a foundational element to our end user computing portfolio that will enable our customers to turbo-charge their mobile workforce without compromising security."

In a blog post announcing the deal, Airwatch said becoming part of VMware will speed up its time to market with new products and assured customers they will not experience any service disruption as a result of the deal.

In a statement, Alan Dabbiere, co-founder and chairman of Airwatch, said becoming part of the VMware family will enable the firm to broaden its customer base.

"When we started AirWatch, we set out to help businesses succeed in the mobile explosion that was set to come. Now there are more than two billion smart phones and tablets in the world and more than half of those devices touch an enterprise," he said.

"By joining a proven innovator like VMware, we now have an opportunity to bring our leading-edge solutions to an even broader set of customers and partners to help them optimise for the mobile-cloud world."

News of the acquisition coincides with the release of VMware's preliminary fourth quarter financial results for 2013.

The firm said it expects revenue to be up 15 per cent on Q4 2012 and to hit $1.48 billion, thanks in part to a 15 per cent increases in license revenue.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.