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F5 Networks to acquire Shape Security for $1B in cash

Seattle-based F5 Networks Inc. agreed to acquire all issued and outstanding shares of Shape Security Inc. for a total enterprise value of about $1 billion in cash.

The transaction, which is expected to close in the first calendar quarter of 2020, has been approved by the boards of both companies and is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Shape uses artificial intelligence and machine learning, together with cloud-based analytics in its security platform. The deal combines F5's protection of apps across multi-cloud environments with Shape's fraud and abuse prevention capabilities, according to a Dec. 19 news release.

F5 expects the Shape acquisition to "meaningfully increase" its software subscription mix in fiscal year 2020.

Following deal completion, Shape will remain in its Santa Clara, Calif., headquarters, while Shape co-founder and CEO Derek Smith will take a management role at F5.

Foros and JP Morgan acted as financial advisers and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP provided legal counsel to F5 on this transaction. Qatalyst Partners acted as financial adviser and Sidley Austin LLP provided legal counsel to Shape.