ClamAV deal is new marker for open source merger market

Are you, as an open source user, about to get caught in the trips-and-dramas of corporate finance, just as if you were using proprietary software? It seems so.

ClamAV acquired by Sourcefire
Fresh off its win in the Untangle Fight Club, ClamAV has been acquired by Sourcefire.

It's probably coincidence the deal happened right after Citrix bought XenSource, but our own Matt Asay said it gives another kick to the open source M&A market.

The 451 Group said the deal will mean a charge against earnings of 9-12 cents per Sourcefire share, which translates to $2-3 million in cash, based on Sourcefire's 24 million shares outstanding. The stock was up 24 cents on the day, which to me makes this deal a bargain.

Sourcefire, it should be noted, went public in March and is down 40% from its highs. It has been losing money, but that's normal in a fast-growing operation.

It's drawing 75% of its revenue down as gross profit, then reinvesting that and more into the business, according to Google Finance.

For ClamAV, this is a quick cash-out. For SourceFire, it helps it become a complete Enterprise Threat Management vendor.

For everyone else it's another step down the road to pricing open source projects in the same way proprietary vendors are priced. Once a market knows how to price, deals can follow one another quickly.

And they can happen anywhere in the ecosystem, from big guys like XenSource to little guys like ClamAV.

But we're left with this key question. Are you, as an open source user, about to get caught in the trips-and-dramas of corporate finance, just as if you were using proprietary software?

It seems so.