Cisco to Acquire Splunk for $28 Billion

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In a blockbuster deal that could shake up the cybersecurity market, Cisco announced this morning that it will acquire Splunk for $28 billion.

If the deal clears regulatory hurdles, it would give Cisco a big position in the market for centralized cybersecurity management solutions like security information and event management (SIEM) and security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) in addition to Cisco’s already sizable presence in network and endpoint security — and position the combined company for new comprehensive cybersecurity solutions like extended detection and response (XDR) just as security buyers are increasingly consolidating vendors.

Combined with Splunk’s sizable position in infrastructure and application management and Cisco’s dominant position in networking, the deal has the potential to remake a number of enterprise IT markets.

Why Cisco and Splunk Are a Match

Splunk was an early mover in the market for cloud SIEM solutions, which gave it a strong early advantage. Over time, however, competitors have emerged, and Splunk’s high pricing has become a disadvantage in the face of lower-cost competitors. Cisco too has also lost ground to more nimble cybersecurity competitors but still boasts a strong customer base thanks to its networking dominance.

Cisco-Splunk Acquisition Timeline

In a tacit acknowledgement of the obstacles the deal may face, Cisco noted that it could take a year to close. “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,” the company’s press release stated.

“Our combined capabilities will drive the next generation of AI-enabled security and observability,” Robbins said in a statement. “From threat detection and response to threat prediction and prevention, we will help make organizations of all sizes more secure and resilient.”

Upon the acquisition’s close, Splunk President and CEO Gary Steele will join Cisco’s Executive Leadership Team and report to Chair and CEO Chuck Robbins.

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