One analyst calls it a "high-risk, high-reward" proposition.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

September 9, 2019

2 Min Read

A month after Broadcom confirmed it is acquiring Symantec‘s enterprise security business, two private equity firms reportedly want to buy the cybersecurity giant’s consumer business for more than $16 billion.

Permira and Advent International have proposed a deal to take over Symantec’s consumer business, the Wall Street Journal reported. The consumer unit includes the Norton antivirus and LifeLock identity protection products.

Permira declined comment. Symantec and Advent International couldn’t be reached for comment.

Last month, Broadcom announced it would buy Symantec’s enterprise security business for $10.7 billion in cash. Prior to that deal, Broadcom had been seeking to acquire all of Symantec, but couldn’t reach an agreement.

Broadcom said the addition of Symantec’s enterprise security portfolio will “significantly expand” its infrastructure software footprint as it continues to build “one of the world’s leading infrastructure technology companies.”

Eric Parizo, senior analyst with Ovum, tells Channel Partners the investor community no doubt sees Symantec’s soon-to-be-independent consumer organization as an undervalued asset.


Ovum’s Eric Parizo

“Symantec’s consumer [unit] has 50 million users globally, and the management team sees it as a business that today can produce $2.5 billion in revenue annually, with an opportunity to grow,” he said. “At face value, that’s an attractive asset to [private equity] investors.

That said, there are still many go-forward challenges facing the new-look Symantec, Parizo said. Its enterprise and consumer technologies, teams and research efforts are highly intertwined and it’s unclear how successfully the two units will be able to collaborate going forward once they are separated, he said.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.

“And while the LifeLock acquisition propped up Symantec consumer from a revenue standpoint, it is unclear if the combination of antimalware and identity protection is ultimately what the consumer market wants,” he said. “Considering the vendor’s entire strategy hinges on it, it’s fair to say it is a high-risk, high-reward proposition.”

Symantec acquired LifeLock in 2017 for $2.3 billion.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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