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Broadcom to Buy Symantec's Enterprise Unit for $10.7 Billion in Software Push

Broadcom last year bought US business software maker CA for $18.9 billion.

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Broadcom to Buy Symantec's Enterprise Unit for $10.7 Billion in Software Push

Broadcom on Thursday announced that it is set to acquire Symantec's enterprise security unit

Highlights
  • The acquisition is aimed to scale up Broadcom's software business
  • Last year, the chipmaker had attempted to acquire Qualcomm but failed
  • The latest deal is expected to close in first quarter of fiscal year 2020

Chipmaker Broadcom said on Thursday it will buy antivirus software maker Symantec's enterprise security unit for $10.7 billion (roughly Rs. 75,407 crores) in cash to scale up its software business through deals.

Shares of Symantec rose 3.6 percent and Broadcom 2 percent in extended trading.

Broadcom last year bought US business software maker CA for $18.9 billion (roughly Rs. 1,33,170 crores) and was reportedly in talks to buy infrastructure software company Tibco Software, which was taken private by Vista Equity Partners for $4.3 billion (roughly Rs. 30,295 crores) in 2014.

Its push to software came after a failed attempt last year to buy mobile chipmaker Qualcomm for $117 billion (roughly Rs. 8,24,329 crores), which was scuttled by the Trump administration, citing national security.

"M&A has played a central role in Broadcom's growth strategy and this transaction represents the next logical step in our strategy," Broadcom Chief Executive Officer Hock Tan said.

Through a string of acquisitions, Tan has propelled the chipmaker that was worth just a few billions to a market capitalisation of about $108 billion (roughly Rs. 7,60,919 crores) in the 13 years that he has been at the helm.

Broadcom said the Symantec deal is expected to close in the first quarter of its fiscal year 2020 and is subject to regulatory approvals in the United States, European Union and Japan. It plans to raise fresh debt to fund the deal.

Symantec's enterprise security unit offers a mix of security products and services to business and government customers, helping them improve their security, while reducing cost and complexity.

Revenue at the unit, which is being sold to Broadcom, rose 9.9 percent to $611 million (roughly Rs. 4,307 crores). Analysts on average had expected $564.3 million (roughly Rs. 3,978 crores).

Symantec has been struggling with severe competition from nimbler rivals and sources had told Reuters last month that it walked away from negotiations to sell the entire company to Broadcom over price disagreements.

Several of its top executives, including CEO Greg Clark, have left the company this year, while it is also being investigated by US regulators over an accounting irregularity.

Symantec, which will be left with consumer focused Norton LifeLock business, said it would issue a special dividend of $12 (roughly Rs. 846) per share in the fourth quarter and buyback additional $1.1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,753 crores) worth of shares.

The company, which reported better-than-expected first-quarter results on Thursday, said it plans to cut the global workforce by about seven percent and will take a charge of about $100 million (roughly Rs. 705 crores). It employed more than 11,900 people as of March 29.

© Thomson Reuters 2019

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Further reading: Broadcom, Symantec
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