Symantec Buying Blue Coat Systems in Deal Worth $4.65 Billion

Symantec Corp has agreed to acquire Blue Coat Systems in a deal worth $4.65 billion that gives the company specializing in computer security a new cyber defense technologies portfolio as well as a new CEO.

Greg Clark the CEO at Blue Coat will take that same role at Symantec following the closing of this deal. The deal should take place prior to October, the two companies announced late on Sunday.

Symantec has searched for a CEO since Michael Brown resigned in April amidst disappointing financials.

In moves that represent a vote of confidence for this deal, Bain Capital a private equity company, which is in control of Blue Coat, will make an investment of $750 million of its proceeds from the sale back into the new combined business in debt that will be convertible into equity.

Silver Lake is to invest $500 million in debt that is convertible over and above the $500 million it agreed to already to put this year into Symantec.

Following a number of breaches that were high profile, computer security has become a huge topic for discussion in the corporate boardrooms around the world.

Symantec is one of the pioneers in software that is antivirus that operates on personal computers; the domain of Blue Coat is the Web. The technology of Blue Coat is used by over 15,000 companies to block inappropriate or dangerous websites.

Blue Coat also sells security services that are delivered via the internet known as cloud computing. The company had filed an initial public offering request earlier in 2016, and its value was estimated by analysts in the area of what Symantec has agreed to pay for purchasing it.

In an interview, Daniel Schulman the Chairman of Symantec and Clark said the new company would be a juggernaut of security that would have over 3,000 engineers working for it.

Clark added that virtually no overlap of products exists between Symantec and Blue Coat.

Symantec has been struggling to translate the increased concern by corporations over cyber threats into new increased revenue.

Sales of corporate security products for the company were lower by 2% totaling over $2.1 billion during its fiscal year 2015. Revenue in the consumer business of the company was lower by 9%, while shares at Symantec have dropped over the last year by 27%.

This deal is the largest acquisition by Symantec in 11 years when it purchased Veritas Software. It is the most recent in a number of big steps trying to turn the fortunes around in a marketplace that is increasingly more competitive for products related to computer security.

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David Glass

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