Symantec to buy Veritas for £6.9bn

Symantec yesterday (15 December) announced it will buy storage supplier Veritas for £6.9bn.

Symantec yesterday (15 December) announced it will buy storage supplier Veritas for £6.9bn.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2005. Symantec shareholders will own about 60% of the merged company which will retain the Symantec name the companies said in a joint announcement.

Veritas sells back-up, archiving and file system software and Symantec sells software to protect home and office computer systems and networks, including firewalls and tools to detect viruses and network intrusions. By joining forces, they will be able to help enterprise customers secure their information better, the companies said.

About three-quarters of the combined company's revenue will come from enterprise products and services, they said.

Symantec chairman and chief executive John Thompson will continue in that role, and his opposite number at Veritas, Gary Bloom, will become vice-chairman and president of the combined company. The new board will be composed of 10 members, six chosen from Symantec's board and four from the Veritas board, the companies said.

Both boards of directors have approved the deal, which now requires the approval of regulators and of the shareholders of both companies. Symantec has offered Veritas stockholders 1.1242 Symantec shares for each Veritas share they hold.

With Symantec's stock price standing at £14.12 when the market closed on Wednesday, that values the deal at about £6.9bn, the companies said.

This is not Symantec's first acquisition this year, although it is by far the largest. It announced plans to acquire anti-spam software company Brightmail for £190m in May, and security consultant @Stake. Last week, it announced plans to acquire intrusion system Platform Logic.

Peter Sayer writes for the IDG News Service

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