Mon, Apr. 13, 2:44 PM
- After surging before the close on Friday thanks to a WSJ report stating the company is exploring a sale of its Veritas storage software unit that (in the opinion of a source) could fetch more than $8B, Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) is now barely above its Thursday close.
- Likely playing a role: Reuters has followed up by reporting Symantec has been seeking buyers for Veritas, if not for the entire company, for months, and that "interest from potential buyers has been limited because of a tax burden associated with splitting the company." Symantec is said to have reached out to EMC, NetApp, and P-E firms.
- Analysts like the idea of a Veritas sale. Cowen: "Timing aside, we do believe that suitable buyers exist, with Oracle, NetApp, and EMC, the most likely strategic bidders, but PE also very possible ... Given Veritas’ low growth profile and tough competition, we believe this would be a good exit for SYMC..."
- Sterne Agee: "Both EMC and and NetApp have likely been afforded the opportunity to consider this acquisition before – we would be surprised if either vendor were to actively pursue this M&A."
- Jefferies: "We very roughly assume a $3bn tax basis and 40% tax on any gain on the sale of Veritas, which translates to $2bn in tax leakage on an $8bn transaction." The firm only values Veritas at $5B, but admits "low interest rates and high degrees of financial leverage present upside risk to our valuation."
- Meanwhile, a Piper Q1 security reseller survey found 38% stating their Symantec sales are below plan vs. 13% above plan. Moreover, for Q2, Symantec is said to have "the weakest [sales] pipeline of all vendors, with 50 percent of resellers expecting below normal seasonality."
Fri, Apr. 10, 4:01 PM
- The WSJ reports Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) is exploring a sale of its storage software unit. The business, once more known as Veritas, is set to be spun off by year's end.
- P-E firms and "possible industry bidders" have reportedly been contacted. One source states "potential buyers approached Symantec about Veritas before it began contacting possible bidders" while adding the business could fetch more than $8B; Symantec currently sports a $17.2B market cap. Taxes related to a sale are seen as a potential roadblock.
- Symantec, whose storage software ops saw revenue rise only 1% Y/Y in FQ3 amid tough competition, has shot higher on the report. The company's analyst day arrives on April 17, and its FQ4 report on May 14.
Tue, Jan. 13, 12:38 AM
- Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) is hiring 65 engineers and data scientists, and is licensing IP, from Boeing's (NYSE:BA) Narus cybersecurity analytics software unit. Terms are undisclosed.
- Narus' technology relies on algorithms and data fusion techniques to analyze large volumes of Web traffic, and filter suspect material. The company was the subject of a 2006 class-action suit alleging AT&T used its products to support the NSA's warrantless wiretap program.
- The purchase comes as corporate interest in cybersecurity continues to surge in response to high-profile breaches - Pres. Obama will outline his cybersecurity proposals later this week - and as Symantec tries to better compete against a slew of smaller, faster-growing security tech firms offering some mixture of hardware, software, and services to protect against external threats.
Oct. 8, 2014, 12:42 AM
- Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) might be about to follow in eBay and H-P's footsteps: Bloomberg reports the company is in "advanced talks" to split its security and storage software ops, and that an announcement may happen within a few weeks.
- A source adds the post-breakup companies could draw M&A interest, given firms such as EMC and H-P have shown interest in one half or the other.
- Symantec's two security software units - one is focused on enterprise security, and the other on PC/mobile security - respectively grew 3% and 1% Y/Y in calendar Q2, while its storage software unit grew 1%. The security units accounted for 63% of revenue and 80% of segment op. profit.
- Both the security and storage ops have been seeing tough competition from a mixture of IT giants (EMC, IBM, Intel/McAfee) and hungry upstarts (CommVault, Veeam, Proofpoint, FireEye), something that may have led Michael Brown (just named permanent CEO) to decide each business would be more agile/competitive as a separately-managed entity.
- A split would effectively undo Symantec's 2005 merger with Veritas. Symantec currently trades below where it did prior to the Dec. 2004 merger announcement.
Jul. 10, 2014, 3:57 PM
- Sources tell dealReporter Symantec (SYMC +1%) is seeing fresh interest from P-E firms. Shares have turned positive after spending most of the day in the red.
- Reuters reported in April Bain, Blackstone, and Carlyle were among the firms eying the security/storage software vendor. But the news service added there were no serious talks going on. Activist ValueAct Capital disclosed a stake in May.
Apr. 15, 2014, 1:26 PM
- ValueAct Capital, which won a Microsoft board seat last year, is among the activist investors thinking of taking a stake in Symantec (SYMC), sources tell Reuters.
- Meanwhile, P-E firms including Bain, Blackstone, and Carlyle have reportedly "started assessing the possibility of a leveraged buyout of all or parts of Symantec." Reuters adds some P-E firms "have approached Symantec in recent weeks to discuss deal possibilities," but there are currently no serious talks going on.
- 11 days ago, Reuters and Bloomberg reported Symantec is hiring one or more banks to explore its options and defend itself against activists following the firing of CEO Steve Bennett.
- Shares are near breakeven on a rough day for the Nasdaq.
Jan. 2, 2014, 4:34 PM
- FireEye (FEYE) has acquired Mandiant, a top provider of endpoint security software (protects against threats from remote devices accessing a network), for 21.5M shares (current value of $884M), $106.5M in net cash, and performance incentives. (PR)
- Mandiant claims over 1/3 of the Fortune 100 among its customers, and has had its software installed on 2M+ endpoints. The company already has a partnership with FireEye - Mandiant's software can be used to process and investigate security events detected by FireEye's threat-prevention hardware.
- In addition to endpoint security products, Mandiant's offerings include network security software, incident response services, and a subscription-based service that provides information and analysis about security threats.
- Mandiant competes against Symantec (SYMC), which offers endpoint security and incident response solutions of its own. The acquisition broadens the scope of FireEye's offerings for a fast-growing and very competitive cybersecurity market.
- In tandem with the acquisition (closed at the end of Q4), FireEye is upping its Q4 revenue guidance to $55M-$57M from $52-$54M (consensus is at $53.6M). Billings are now expected to total $95M-$100M, up from a prior $82M-$86M.
- With Mandiant in tow, FireEye now expects 2014 revenue of $400M-$410M, up from prior guidance of $240M-$250M. 2014 billings guidance has been raised to $540M-$560M from $350M-$370M.
- FireEye's strong post-IPO performance and lofty multiples may have helped motivate the company to make a big strategic purchase. Shares are halted until 4:35PM ET. CC at 5PM.
Jul. 19, 2013, 12:15 PMSymantec (SYMC -1.2%) is buying Spanish security software vendor PasswordBank for a reported $25M. PasswordBank's products support both cloud and on-premise deployments, and enable user authentication and single sign-on across multiple devices/apps. Symantec says the startup will help it "enhance its secure sign on for web or cloud applications and further enhance its identity and context aware security." FQ1 results arrive on July 30. | 3 Comments
Jan. 15, 2013, 4:12 PMSymantec (SYMC +4.7%) closes with a healthy gain after the WSJ reports the company's Altiris device management/configuration software unit is on the block and drawing P-E interest. Symantec bought Altiris, which competes with ServiceNow (NOW +4.4%) and whose tools manage everything from servers to smartphones, for $800M in '07. The WSJ adds a sale of Symantec's Veritas storage software business, the subject of occasional speculation, is unlikely. (Morgan Stanley upgrade) | Comment!
Dec. 18, 2012, 5:54 PMDell (DELL) continues its software acquisition spree, reaching a deal to buy data protection software provider Credant for an undisclosed sum. Credant's products encrypt and control access to data for PCs, mobile devices, and flash drives, among other things. The purchase meshes with Dell's acquisition of firewall/security software vendor SonicWALL. Credant competes with Symantec and EMC's RSA Security unit. (PR) | Comment!
Sep. 24, 2012, 1:48 PMIBM has acquired Butterfly Software, a U.K.-based provider of data analysis and migration software, for an undisclosed sum. The purchase should help IBM better compete with EMC and Symantec, each of whom offer an extensive array of data migration/replication solutions. IBM's Tivoli storage software business posted double-digit Y/Y growth in Q2, even as storage hardware sales fell 4%. | Comment!
Mar. 20, 2012, 10:23 AMSymantec (SYMC) is acquiring Nukona, a developer of software for managing data and apps on company-issued mobile devices, for an undisclosed sum. The deal comes 3 weeks after Symantec acquired Odyssey Software, a developer of mobile device management software. The acquisitions are proof of how software firms are addressing IT department complaints about iOS and (especially) Android, and thus presenting an additional threat to RIMM's enterprise base. | Comment!
Feb. 24, 2012, 11:38 AMDell (DELL) has acquired AppAssure, a fast-growing (194% growth in 2011) developer of software for backing up applications running on servers. The acquisition puts Dell into more direct competition with Symantec (SYMC) and CommVault (CVLT), and comes 3 weeks after the company hired former CA head John Swainson to run its software business. (also) | Comment!
Jan. 16, 2012, 5:24 PMSymantec (SYMC) is acquiring LiveOffice, a provider of cloud-based data archiving services for enterprises, for $115M. As Forrester's Brian Hill notes, LiveOffice's solutions complement Symantec's locally-installed Enterprise Vault archiving software, as well as the eDiscovery software it obtained through its 2011 acquisition of Clearwell Systems. | Comment!
Nov. 28, 2011, 10:39 AMCommVault (CVLT +7.9%) joins Quantum (QTM +7.1%) in taking off on speculation NetApp (NTAP +3.5%) might bid for the company. Though unlike Quantum, which sports a price/sales ratio of just 0.8, CommVault wouldn't come cheap: the storage software vendor, which has been taking share from Symantec (SYMC) in major enterprise accounts, has a trailing P/E of 51. | Comment!
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Symantec Corp provides security, backup and availability solutions. Its products and services protect people and information in any environment, from the smallest mobile device, to the enterprise data center, to cloud-based systems.
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