Cisco tap boutique advisor to acquire Splunk in mega $28 billion deal

Cisco tap boutique advisor to acquire Splunk in mega $28 billion deal

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Cisco and Splunk yesterday announced an agreement for the former to acquire the latter at a price of $157 per share in cash, representing approximately $28 billion in equity value.

 “We’re excited to bring Cisco and Splunk together. Our combined capabilities will drive the next generation of AI-enabled security and observability,” said Chuck Robbins, chair and CEO of Cisco.

“From threat detection and response to threat prediction and prevention, we will help make organisations of all sizes more secure and resilient.”

Splunk helps organisations to prevent security, infrastructure and application issues from becoming major incidents, absorb shocks from digital disruptions, and accelerate digital transformation.

Upon the close of the acquisition, Splunk president and CEO Gary Steele will join Cisco’s executive leadership team reporting to Robbins.

Notably for such a large deal, Cisco were advised exclusively by boutique advisory firm Tidal Partners, who employ less than 30 staff and were only launched in California last year.

The company was formed by technology bankers David Handler and David Neequaye, who both spent time as partners at the much larger investment bank Centreview Partners.

"We've known David (Handler) and his partner David (Neequaye) for a very long time. They did a great job for us, and so we've had that relationship for a long time," Robbins said yesterday in an interview. 

Splunk meanwhile where advised by more familiar names in the form of Qatalyst Partners and Morgan Stanley.

Cisco have lofty ambitions for the acquisition, claiming synergies with Splunk will accelerate its strategy to securely connect everything to “make anything possible”.

“Uniting with Cisco represents the next phase of Splunk’s growth journey, accelerating our mission to help organizations worldwide become more resilient, while delivering immediate and compelling value to our shareholders,” Steele said.


“Together, we will form a global security and observability leader that harnesses the power of data and AI to deliver excellent customer outcomes and transform the industry".

"We’re thrilled to join forces with a long-time and trusted partner that shares our passion for innovation and world-class customer experience, and we expect our community of Splunk employees will benefit from even greater opportunities as we bring together two respected and purpose-driven organizations,” Steele added. 

The two companies said they plan to unlock the true value of data and will help make organisations of all sizes more secure and digitally resilient.

They believe this has come at the perfect time as the acceleration and adoption of generative AI, expanding threat surfaces and multiple cloud environments is creating a level of complexity that is unlike anything organisations have faced before. 

Splunk’s security capabilities are said to complement Cisco’s existing portfolio. The companies will provide security analytics and coverage from devices to applications to clouds. 

The acquisition has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both Cisco and Splunk. It is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of calendar year 2024, subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions including approval by Splunk shareholders.

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