Private equity firms Permira and Advent International Corp. reportedly look at buying consumer side of security vendor
Reports that what’s left of Symantec, post-Broadcom acquisition, is of interest to private equity firms should come as no surprise. According to published reports, a partnership of two investment groups is looking to spend billions to buy the consumer and SMB side of the security vendor.
The Lowdown: According to published reports, Permira and Advent are teaming up to acquire the post-Broadcom assets of the vaunted security vendor. The two firms are reportedly offering as much as $16 billion, which places the value of the consumer business at premium prices. Neither firm is commenting on the reports.
The Details: Just how the deal will work is unclear. Last month, Symantec reached a deal to sell the enterprise security business unit to Broadcom for nearly $11 billion. The Wall Street Journal says the private equity firms could buy the whole of the company and then complete the deal with Broadcom or wait until the Broadcom deal closes and then buy the consumer business.
The Impact: As with the Broadcom acquisition, the initial impact on any deal to acquire Symantec’s consumer assets will likely have little impact on channel partners or customers in the short run. The running speculation is the post-Symantec company will rebrand as Norton, a name more closely associated with the consumer and SMB products. Private equity ownership could give the new consumer Symantec company a better chance of success by removing it from the view of Wall Street’s scrutiny.
Background: Despite being the largest pure-play security vendor in the market, Symantec is a beleaguered company. Over the past 18 months, Symantec suffered a series of performance setbacks that resulted in the departure of its CEO and a key architect of the merger with Blue Coat, Greg Clark. In July, Broadcom looked at buying Symantec, but the deal fell apart over the price. Symantec wanted $28 billion, while Broadcom offered $24 billion. In August, Symantec agreed to sell the enterprise business to Broadcom. Selling the consumer business to private equity for $16 billion would give shareholders nearly the premium price sought when the first Broadcom deal was on the table.