Mandiant CEO Kevin Mandia said on the company’s earnings conference call with analysts last week that it won’t comment on rumors or speculation. Microsoft had no comment either.
It should come as no surprise that Microsoft might be looking to use some of the massive amount of cash it has on its balance sheet to close some deals. Microsoft has about $130 billion, and would still have around $60 billion left over after the Activision deal closes…assuming it is approved by regulators.
The cybersecurity business is a major area of focus for Nadella. Last year, Microsoft bought several security startups, including CloudKnox Security, RiskIQ and CyberX.
Security is a lucrative business for Microsoft since it generates a large chunk of recurring annual subscription revenue. It also helps Microsoft attract more corporate customers for its other numerous, cloud-based subscription software offerings.
So even if a Mandiant deal doesn’t happen, Microsoft will likely set its sights elsewhere in the same space.
“Cybercrime is the number one threat facing every business today,” Nadella said during Microsoft’s most recent earnings call with analysts last month. He added that cybersecurity revenue for Microsoft topped $15 billion over the past 12 months, a 45% jump from the previous year.
Microsoft chief financial officer Amy Hood also noted on a conference call with analysts following the Activision deal announcement that the company is looking for more deals in high-growth markets where Microsoft can “uniquely add value to the users or the community.”
She didn’t name any industries that the company might be targeting.
Microsoft isn’t the only tech company on the hunt for deals. With interest rates likely headed higher over the next few months, other cash-rich tech firms may be propelled into action.