Symantec shifts to security appliances with Blue Coat buy

AcquisitionsChannel Strategy
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$4.65bn deal also sees Blue Coat’s main man take charge of struggling Symantec as it looks to new markets

Symantec is buying leading security appliance firm Blue Coat for around $4.65 billion in cash. And in a convenient twist, Greg Clark, chief executive officer of Blue Coat, will be appointed CEO of the combined company after the transaction is closed.

The deal has been approved by both boards and is expected to close in the third calendar quarter of 2016. Blue Coat was previously planning an IPO before the Symantec acquisition.

Security Privacy1-large-247x180The acquisition kills two birds with one stone – Symantec needed to expand its security product offering when margins on basic security software are going down, and was also on the search for a new CEO, after previously announcing the departure of the top man after posting poor financial results.

According to analyst IDC, Blue Coat is the global number five in terms of sales and market share for security appliances. Blue Coat has 15,000 customers worldwide.

This transaction will combine Symantec’s leading threat telemetry with Blue Coat’s networks and cloud security offerings, to provide differentiated security solutions across hundreds of millions of endpoints and servers,” said Symantec.

Greg Clark, chief executive officer of Blue Coat, said: “Once combined, we will offer customers around the world – from large enterprises and governments to individual consumers – unrivalled threat protection and unmatched cloud security.

With employees of Blue Coat and Symantec coming together, we will be well positioned to drive meaningful growth and push the boundaries of innovation.”

Thomas Seifert, chief financial officer of Symantec, said: “With the $150 million in expected annual net cost synergies, in addition to our previously announced $400 million in planned net cost savings, this transaction will allow Symantec to improve profitability while continuing to invest in innovation and drive growth.”

The combined company will be headquartered in Mountain View, California. Blue Coat is currently headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

@AntonySavvas