Fortinet Says IBM Acquisition Talk Untrue

NEW YORK, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Network security company Fortinet Inc (NASDAQ:FTNT) denied a news report it was in talks to be bought by International Business Machines Corp (NYSE:IBM).

Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources, that IBM was in advanced talks to buy Fortinet and that Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) was advising Fortinet.

Fortinet said on Monday that "investors need to be aware of the error," adding it was focused on building a strong and independent company. It also asked Bloomberg to retract or correct the report, the company said. IBM declined to comment.

Fortinet shares closed up 6.27 percent at $31.88, despite the denial, showing investors believed the company was still an attractive acquisition target. Earlier, they rose as high as $36.77.

Bankers and analysts have said there are likely to be more acquisitions in the security industry, with large technology vendors eager to add security software to their product lineup.

Intel Corp (NASDAQ:INTC) paved the way in August with a $7.7 billion deal to buy U.S. security software company McAfee Inc (NYSE:MFE), while a month later, Hewlett-Packard Co (NYSE:HPQ) agreed to buy cyber-security vendor ArcSight Inc (ARST.DE) for $1.5 billion. (Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; editing by Richard Chang and Andre Grenon)


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