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Network Associates Restructuring Reflects Changing Security Market

Network Associates's decision to sell off its network management and analysis tools to focus on its security business reflects the intense competition among vendors scrambling for market share as companies look for software to fight off spam, viruses and other threats.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company said Thursday that it would sell the Sniffer product line to Silver Lake Partners and Texas Pacific Group for $275 million in cash. In addition, the company planned a major restructuring that included changing its name to McAfee, the brand name for many of its security products.

In a news conference, Network Associates Chairman and Chief Executive Officer George Samenuk said the company's reorganization represented "the most aggressive and important transformation" in the company's history.

"These changes will transform us into a more powerful, more profitable and more competitive company for the future," Samenuk said.

Experts agreed Friday that Network Associates will need all it has to compete in the hot security market, but how successful it will become remains to be seen. The company will be competing against formidable rivals such as Symantec, Trend Micro, Computer Associates and a slew of smaller software makers and companies offering hosted security services.

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