Buyout Firms Permira, Advent Seek to Acquire Symantec, Sources Say
By Cara Lombardo and Dana Cimilluca
Symantec Corp. has received interest from a pair of
private-equity suitors seeking to buy the cybersecurity firm for
more than $16 billion after it agreed to a sale of a big chunk of
its business, according to people familiar with the matter.
Permira and Advent International Corp. recently approached
Symantec proposing a takeover deal valuing Symantec at $26 to $27 a
share that would hand them the company's consumer operation while
preserving the sale of its enterprise business to Broadcom Inc.
Such a structure could reduce the tax bill for its shareholders,
the people said.
It couldn't be learned how exactly this deal would work and it
is far from guaranteed it will happen. If it does, it could involve
the firms buying Symantec and proceeding with the sale to Broadcom
or waiting for the enterprise deal to close and then acquiring the
consumer unit, which includes Norton antivirus and LifeLock
Selling a company when a major transaction like the Broadcom
deal is about to close would be complicated and unusual.
Symantec last month said it would sell its enterprise-security
business to Broadcom, a major chip and software producer, for $10.7
billion. Symantec plans to distribute proceeds in a special
dividend of $12 a share after the deal closes, expected by the end
of the year. It also said it would boost a stock-repurchase
The stock has risen roughly 16% to $23.70 since The Wall Street
Journal reported on the deal with Broadcom, giving Symantec a
market value of roughly $14.5 billion.
A deal at $26 or $27 a share would value Symantec at about $16.4
billion. The private-equity firms believe the extra premium is
justified by what they see as the tax inefficiency of the deal with
Broadcom, which is expected to trigger steep dividend-tax payments
for shareholders related to the special payout, the people familiar
with the matter said.
Broadcom had earlier this year considered a deal for all of
Symantec and was close to inking one before the talks fell apart,
as had Permira and Advent.
The enterprise unit serves businesses and has helped make
Symantec the world's largest seller of security software for
corporate networks, though the consumer operation is more
Last week, Symantec said interim Chief Executive Richard Hill
would resign following the sale to Broadcom and initiated a search
for his replacement. Symantec a year ago drew the attention of
activist investor Starboard Value LP, which struck a settlement for
Write to Cara Lombardo at firstname.lastname@example.org and Dana
Cimilluca at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 06, 2019 14:51 ET (18:51 GMT)
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