Blackstone Invests $400M in FireEye

November 24, 2020

FireEye secures a $400 million strategic investment led by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities to support the company’s vision to create the industry’s leading intelligence-led cyber security platform and services company. Blackstone will be joined by ClearSky a cyber security-focused investment firm, as a co-investor in the transaction. FireEye intends to use the proceeds to support strategic growth initiatives, including the acquisition of Respond Software announced today, as well as increased investment to accelerate the growth of the company’s cloud, platform and managed services portfolio.

Under the terms of its investment, Blackstone and ClearSky will purchase $400 million in shares of a newly designated 4.5% Series A Convertible Preferred Stock of FireEye (the “Series A Preferred”), with a purchase price of $1,000 per share. The Series A Preferred will be convertible into shares of FireEye's common stock at a conversion price of $18.00 per share. The investment by Blackstone and ClearSky is subject to customary closing conditions. In conjunction with Blackstone's investment in FireEye, FireEye will appoint Viral Patel, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, to its Board of Directors upon the closing of the transaction. Additional information regarding the investment and the Series A Preferred will be included in a Form 8-K to be filed by FireEye with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Blackstone and ClearSky have a track record of developing and supporting industry-leading cyber security companies. Their investment validates our vision and provides financial, operational and leadership resources to accelerate our strategy,” said Kevin Mandia, FireEye chief executive officer.

Viral Patel, a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, said: “Blackstone and FireEye have a shared vision of the unique role FireEye can play in addressing the increasingly sophisticated cyber security challenges their customers face. Intelligence and expertise are critical in delivering effective cyber security solutions, and FireEye is an industry leader in both. We are excited to partner with the company’s board and management to accelerate execution on their vision.”

Also, FireEye bought Respond Software, the cybersecurity investigation automation company and creator of the Respond Analyst. The acquisition of Respond Software opens new market opportunities to deliver eXtended Detection and Response (XDR) capabilities to a broad set of customers. Additionally, it enables Mandiant® Solutions to further productize and scale its expertise and front-line intelligence as part of the Mandiant Advantage platform. The transaction closed on November 18, 2020 and is valued at approximately $186 million in cash and stock, exclusive of assumed unvested stock options.

The Respond Analyst is an XDR engine that accelerates cyber investigation and response by automating the correlation of multi-sourced attack evidence using cloud-based data science models that ingest data from a comprehensive set of security technologies. This technology will become a key part of the Mandiant Advantage platform, bringing vendor-agnostic XDR and investigation capabilities that integrates with any customer environment. Further, the combination of cloud-based correlation and intelligent data science models will be used in the delivery of Mandiant Managed Defense, speeding response times and providing better security outcomes for customers while scaling existing Managed Defense resources to protect more customers.

“With Mandiant’s position on the front lines, we know what to look for in an attack, and Respond’s cloud-based machine learning productizes our expertise to deliver faster outcomes and protect more customers,” said Kevin Mandia, FireEye chief executive officer. “This creates a learning system with new capabilities that will enable us to expand our Mandiant portfolio and drive new XDR revenue through our Mandiant Advantage platform.”

The Respond Analyst automates the investigation and triage of security data, at machine speed, with a level of depth and consistency unmatched by human analysis. Using a proprietary intelligent decision engine, the Respond Analyst provides built-in reasoning and judgment to make better decisions, faster without the expensive security engineering and professional services required of most security operations tools. The combination of Respond Software’s XDR capabilities with deep, real-time knowledge of attacker tools and techniques derived from Mandiant frontline expertise and intelligence will enable customers to more quickly identify the weak signals of an attack, understand their adversary, and respond quickly to stop an attack before the adversaries are able to accomplish their mission.

“Customers rely on our XDR engine to investigate more alerts, at a deeper level, for far less cost than existing processes and tools,” said Mike Armistead, Respond Software chief executive officer prior to the acquisition. “Respond’s product dramatically reduces time spent investigating false positives as it connects the dots among siloed, multi-vendor security controls in an easy-to-deploy cloud-based package. Now coupled with Mandiant’s world-class threat intelligence and incident response expertise feeding our models, customers can be confident the most up-to-date and relevant attack tactics and techniques are recognized and appropriately escalated. This results in more coverage, faster resolution of incidents, and ultimately, less risk at lower cost.

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