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GFI Acquires Sunbelt Software, Expands Channel

GFI Software on Tuesday announced the acquisition of Clearwater, Fla.-based Sunbelt Software, a maker of Windows security products.

The deal is seen as a way for GFI, which serves small-to-medium companies with security solutions for networking, e-mail and the Web, to expand its partner channel reach globally, according to Walter Scott, GFI's CEO. In addition, Raleigh, N.C.- and London-based GFI will add Sunbelt's technologies to the GFI product portfolio.

"The technologies developed by both companies are highly complementary and I have a hard time imagining a better combination," said Alex Eckelberry, CEO of Sunbelt Software, in a prepared statement.

One of the technologies slated for integration is Sunbelt's Vipre antivirus line of security products for Windows-based PCs, which is offered to consumer and business users. The Vipre suite includes e-mail security, protection against spyware and a desktop firewall that enables ad blocking and phishing protection, plus boot-load controls.

GFI has some consumer-facing products, such as its GFI Backup utility, but most of its solutions are marketed for use by IT pros. GFI aims to leverage some of Sunbelt's consumer success, particularly with Vipre, as a way of boosting GFI's enterprise marketing.

"We see this investment in Sunbelt and its VIPRE technology as an excellent opportunity to increase our install base, drive the software globally through our international partner channel and also build our consumer market, which has a powerful drag-along effect on the SME and SoHo markets," Scott said in a prepared statement.

GFI plans to divest Sunbelt's software distribution arm into a separate entity. Other terms of the acquisition deal were not disclosed. The acquisition comes just one month after the two companies announced a partnership to share global sales channels and technologies.

Last year GFI acquired HoundDog Technology Ltd., adding HoundDog's remote management and network monitoring solution for small-to-medium businesses to the GFI portfolio. HoundDog's technology was relaunched as GFI Max, which is currently offered through GFI's global channel partners.

GFI is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner that offers software products for Web and e-mail security, network security, and backup, fax and archiving.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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