AT&T Looks To Offload Cybersecurity Division – Report


American mobile operator AT&T said to be exploring possible sale of its cybersecurity division, formerly known as Alienvault

American mobile operator AT&T is reportedly exploring a sale of the ‘AT&T Cybersecurity’ division it acquired in 2018, formerly known as Alienvault.

Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that AT&T (the second largest mobile operator in the US) is now potentially seeking to undo the $600m acquisition it carried out five years ago.

Prior to its AT&T acquisition AlienVault had described its mission as one of “simplifying threat detection and threat visibility” and ensuring businesses don’t get bogged down by having too many products.


Potential sale

Reuters noted that AT&T has been undertaking a number of divestments of late, in order to pay down debt following its $108.7 billion acquisition of Time Warner in 2018, a deal it has since also unwound.

In the past couple of years, AT&T has sold a 30 percent stake in its pay TV unit (DirecTV) to private equity firm TPG for $1.8 billion.

It has also gained $40.4 billion in cash by spinning off and merging its Warner Media business with Discovery Communications to form Warner Bros Discovery.

Now according to Reuters, AT&T has been working with Barclays to solicit potential bids for its Alienvault cybersecurity business (now known as AT&T Cybersecurity).

It is not clear at the time of writing how much the AT&T Cybersecurity business could fetch now.

According to Reuters, the sources cautioned that no deal is certain and requested anonymity because the matter is confidential.

AT&T and Barclays reportedly declined to comment.

Current business

AT&T’s cybersecurity division currently develops commercial and open-source services to manage cyber attacks, including the Open Threat Exchange, a crowd-sourced computer-security platform.

Alienvault had been founded in Spain in 2007, and its 2018 acquisition was aimed at giving AT&T an edge in signing up and retaining corporate clients.

However Reuters noted the rationale for the deal has now apparently eroded due to the arrival of cybersecurity startups that offer cheap alternatives.

In 2017 Silicon UK noted that California-based AlienVault was growing thanks to the growing focus on the cybersecurity sector – so much so that then AlienVault CEO Barmak Meftah revealed that an IPO was on the horizon.