Symantec to acquire Blue Coat for $4.65 billion

Greg Clark, CEO of Blue Coat, will head the combined company

Security company Symantec is to acquire Web security provider Blue Coat for US$4.65 billion in cash in a deal that will broaden the portfolio of security technologies the combined company can offer customers as they move to the cloud.

The deal, which is expected to be closed by the third quarter, will also see Greg Clark, CEO of Blue Coat, taking over as CEO of Symantec and joining its board at the the closing of the transaction. Symantec, well-known for its anti-virus software, has been looking out for a new CEO since April after it was announced that its CEO Michael Brown was stepping down, following poor financial results. Ajei Gopal was appointed as interim president and chief operating officer.

The acquisition will combine Symantec’s threat monitoring capabilities with Blue Coat’s network and cloud security offerings to protect customers across cyber endpoints, email, Web, network and servers, Symantec said late Sunday. It said that its data loss prevention capabilities will be applied at the Web proxy and to over 12,000 cloud applications. The combined company, with headquarters in Mountain View, California, will have over 3,000 engineers and researchers, as well as nine Threat Response Centers.

The combined company is expected to have $4.4 billion in revenues in fiscal year 2016, of which 62 percent is to come from enterprise security.

Despite growing concern about security after high-profile security breaches, Symantec has not been able to translate that into a favorable outcome for the company on the financial front. The company reported in May that revenue for the fourth quarter of its fiscal year ended April 1 was $873 million, down 3 percent from a year earlier, while annual revenue fell 9 percent to $3.6 billion.

Symantec plans to finance the transaction using a combination of cash on its balance sheet and $2.8 billion of new debt. Silver Lake, an investor in Symantec, plans to double its investment to $1 billion through acquiring convertible notes of the company. Bain Capital, majority shareholder in Blue Coat, also plans to reinvest $750 million in the combined company through the convertible notes.

Symantec announced in January that it completed the sale of its Veritas information management business to a group of investors. Earlier this month, Blue Coat announced that it had publicly filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering, a move that will now be likely withdrawn.

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John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
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