Posted on Tuesday 9 April 2013 by Ulster Business

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Belfast-based email security solutions developer Mail Distiller has been acquired by a US competitor, a move which will result in the company creating more jobs in Northern Ireland.

Californian company Proofpoint Inc, a NASDAQ-listed leader in cloud-based information security and governance software, said it had closed the deal to buy all the shares of Mail Distiller for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 2004 by Colm McGoldrick, Mail Distiller provides software that helps small and medium sized companies to protect their email infrastructure, including filters to block spam and malware.

McGoldrick, who will stay on as vice president of the newly renamed Proofpoint Essentials, said becoming part of a company with a global market presence would allow the firm to grow its presence in Belfast.

"Traditionally these types of acquisitions are done by a large faceless organisation that doesn't know the other party and is really just buying the IP and bringing it to another geographic location to sell. The difference here with Proofpoint and ourselves is that we've been friendly competitors for quite a while," he told Ulster Business.

Proofpoint's customer base is at the enterprise level – companies with millions of users - while Mail Distiller is mainly geared towards SMEs. McGoldrick said Proofpoint had been looking to expand its market following its IPO last year and rated Mail Distiller's technology more highly than other companies it evaluated.

"Acquiring Mail Distiller allows them to offer a solution to the SME sector through its network of distributors and resellers that they haven't been able to before because their product and technology is geared for larger customers at a higher price point," he said.

"From a local perspective that immediately creates an opportunity for jobs. Long term we need to put together a plan with Invest NI to see what that will look like. But we're talking an immediate requirement for five very senior engineers and some support. As of this morning we have pretty much outgrown the office space we're in in the Northern Ireland Science Park."

The business, which currently has around 20 staff, will be operated as a separate division within Proofpoint and could also become a base for other divisions of Proofpoint Inc in Europe, the Mail Distiller founder added.

"There are some really specialist jobs that have the potential to come here including malware research, virus research, security research, as well as the traditional work that Mail Distiller has done around anti-Spam and channel management. There is lots of interest in capitalising on the skill base that exists here, supplemented by the core training we would give them," said McGoldrick.

"We're keen to get the best in here and build a good team of experts here in Belfast. We want to hear from anyone keen to register their interest at careers@maildistiller.com."

 

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