Symantec to buy Blue Coat for $4.7 billion

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By Larry Banks

Web security company Symantec plans to buy privately-held cyber security company Blue Coat for $4.65 billion in cash, to boost its enterprise security business.

Blue Coat products protects web gateways from cyber attacks, and is said to be a service that complements Symantec’s current product lineup for corporations, executives said on Sunday.

“Blue Coat brings capabilities from the web and for network-born threats, which combined with what we already offer will provide better protection for our customers”, said Ajei Gopal, Symantec’s interim president and CEO.

Symantec, which makes Norton antivirus, has been quietly reinventing itself this year. It sold its storage unit Veritas for $7.4 billion in January to gain the cash needed to turn around its security software business.

CFO Thomas Seifert says the firm has been considering buying Blue Coat for a while and wanted to separate from Veritas before it could make a move to buy it. He said the deal, expected to close in Q3, would be accretive immediately.

After the Blue Coat acquisition, sixty two percent of Symantec revenue will come from enterprise security, allowing it to compete more effectively with firms like Palo Alto Networks, FireEye and Check Point Software Technologies. Symantec will now have $4.4 billion in combined revenue.

Blue Coat had been planning an initial public offering later this summer. Its sale is a rapid turnaround for its owner, Bain Capital LLC, which acquired Blue Coat Systems Inc from fellow private-equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC for $2.4 billion last year.

“We enjoyed a very productive partnership, and are excited to be a significant investor in the future of Symantec as the leading cyber security Company in the world”, said Bain managing director David Humphrey. Humphrey will join Symantec’s board as the firm agreed to invest $750 million in convertible notes.

Technology-focused private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners also agreed to invest $500 million in convertible notes of Symantec, which doubles its investment in Symantec to $1 billion.

SOURCE: Reuters.

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