Surfcontrol Plc, a U.K. company whose software helps block unwanted e-mails, agreed to buy BlackSpider Technologies Ltd. for 20 million pounds ($36.7 million) to meet customer demand for Internet security services.
``BlackSpider's on-demand security services enable us to raise the level of protection for our customers,'' Surfcontrol Chief Executive Officer Patricia Sueltz said in a Regulatory News Service statement today. The acquisition is a response to requests from customers for more protection against Internet and e-mail security threats, she said.
Sueltz, who took over a year ago, wants to boost growth by overhauling the business. The purchase of BlackSpider will add clients such as Telefonica SA's O2 Plc unit and increase users to more than 14 million, Surfcontrol said.
Surfcontrol, based in Congleton, northwest England, also said sales and profit in the fiscal year that ended June 30 were ``in line'' with its previous guidance. Fourth-quarter sales rose 5 percent from the year-ago period, it said.
``We are on a much firmer footing than a year ago,'' Sueltz said.
Shares of Surfcontrol rose 5 pence, or 1.1 percent to 443 pence. The stock has declined 16 percent this year, valuing the company at 125.6 million pounds.
The company will release fourth-quarter earnings on Sept. 12.
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