http://www.newsbytes.com/news/02/174637.html By Michael P Bruno, Washtech CHANTILLY, VIRGINIA, U.S.A., 20 Feb 2002, 3:58 PM CST Online security firm iDefense Inc. of Chantilly is seeking a buyer and could sign a letter of intent within weeks, the company's chief executive said. The four-year-old company's sale would come after it massively streamlined last year before entering and emerging from bankruptcy. "We could probably reach some kind of letter of intent in two to three weeks and close it in 60 days," iDefense President and CEO Brian Kelly said. "Everything is fast tracked." Kelly said iDefense is in discussions with six serious bidders, whom he declined to identify. Four of the possible buyers are locally based and all are interested in the online security sector. He is looking for an offer of $8 million to $10 million. The company provides its customers warnings against threats from hackers or other IT problems. Kelly joined iDefense in January 2001, about when it started to run into trouble from ambitious growth plans, he said. Kelly culled the company, cutting its workforce from 60 to 25. He also closed its forensics, certification and consulting lines of business to focus on the company's "core" intelligence offering. But by the following summer, iDefense still was dragging debt of $9 million to $10 million, Kelly said. The company filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in Alexandria last August, also listing assets of $1 million to $10 million. IDefense restructured its debt by converting its outstanding warrants into private stock. The conversions came in two rounds, where either four or six warrants were swapped for one share, Kelly said. IDefense emerged from bankruptcy two months later in October with its remaining 25 employees and 37 customers, he said. Now, Kelly sees a wave of acquisitions about to hit the security market and he thinks the increased interest can bring financial investment needed to rebuild iDefense. "This is going to be the year of the roll-up in the security sector. We have to position ourselves now to really play a piece in that." IDefense started in May 1998 as Infrastructure Forum but changed its name to Infrastructure Defense - doing business as iDefense - in July 1998. It has landed roughly $15 million in funding total from friends, family, USWeb/CKS and e-Capital Investments plc. E-Capital provided at least $200,000 to get iDefense through bankruptcy and will keep funding the company through acquisition, Kelly said. The local e-security sector has experienced several acquisitions lately. Centreville data-security firm Para-Protect Services Inc. said it planned to sell its customer contracts to competitor Riptech Inc. of Alexandria, a move that all but closes Para-Protect. And TruSecure Corp. of Herndon, a provider of information security services to government and commercial customers, acquired Three Pillars Inc., a Norcross, Ga., provider of security outsourcing, monitoring and intelligence services. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email firstname.lastname@example.org with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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