In what deserves to go down as one of the least surprising deals of the year, Israeli web gateway company Finjan has been bought by Anglo-US rival, M86 Security.

Given that both parties are private companies, the deal has already been agreed without the need to name the price paid to the outside world, but it brings the independence of Finjan to an end after an eventful 12 years. That M86 has pounced on Finan is not the sudden move it might appear to some - current M86 Security CEO, John Vigouroux, was until April the CEO of Finjan, and the Israeli company has since lost other employees to what is now its new owner.

M86 Security itself was only formed a year after the merger of two companies, the UK-based Marshal, and US-based 8e6 Technologies. After calling themselves Marshal8e6 for a few months, in September the company renamed itself, M68 Security. Between times, the company also acquired messaging-and-spam specialist, Avinti.

According to M86 international president, Bruce Green, the takeover made sense given what the company had identified Finjan's web gateway technology as superior to their own.

"We decided we did not have the time. We had to move fast," he said, referring to the development effort it would have taken to bash its own 8e6-derived R3000 filtering gateway into shape. Finjan's web gateway is a mature product with a good reputation, and its creators Finjan have long been considered a niche pioneer of the application firewall sector.

"We believe Finan has the leading product in this space. It is also enterprise level," said Green.

Finjan isn't a large company - it turns over a very modest $16 million or so per annum - but integrating its 100 employees into an increasingly complex company will take some effort in the short run. M86 will now have offices in the UK and the US, as well as development centres in New Zealand and Israel.

Finjan's brand name would continue under the M86 umbrella much as 8e6 and Marshal's products had continued under their own names, he said.