Computer Associates is set to buy identity and access management software maker Netegrity for US$430 million in cash. The company said that it would integrate Netegrity's identity and access management products with its eTrust Identity and Access Management group.

Netegrity makes software and technology that allows companies to manage user-identity data, such as logins and passwords, across networks and the Internet. Companies use Netegrity's products to simplify user management and administration between legacy equipment, web and service-oriented architectures.

CA already sells identity and access management technology under its eTrust brand, but said that it was interested in Netegrity's strength in user access, user provisioning and security policy technology to manage Web-based applications, such as the company's SiteMinder, IdentityMinder and TransactionMinder products.

The acquisition would be CA's biggest in several years. CA expects to complete its acquisition of Netegrity in the next 90 days and said the effect of the acquisition would be "neutral" for fiscal year 2005.

Nevertheless, the $10.75 per share price reflects quite a premium for Netegrity's stock. Shares in the company have been trading well below $10 for most of 2004, and were trading below $6 just one month ago.

CA's COO Jeff Clarke said that CA "conducted extensive due diligence of Netegrity," and that he is "confident this acquisition will deliver a financial return in excess of our weighted average cost of capital."