Symantec to split into security and storage software companies

Thu Oct 9, 2014 6:53pm EDT
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By Soham Chatterjee and Arathy S Nair

(Reuters) - Norton antivirus maker Symantec Corp (SYMC.O: Quote) will split into two publicly traded companies, one selling security software and the other providing data management, potentially making itself more attractive to suitors.

Symantec's revenue growth has lagged the rest of the security software market in recent quarters, with slowing PC sales hurting demand for the company's software, which often comes bundled with new computers.

The Mountainview, California-based company has also failed to establish a strong foothold in the mobile security market.

Symantec's split essentially reverses its $13.5 billion acquisition of storage company Veritas Software a decade ago and follows a trend of companies splitting themselves to focus on faster growing businesses.

"Symantec has been a headache name for tech investors over the last decade. It's nice to see the board make a decision that strategically makes sense for the company and its investors," FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives said.

Symantec's break-up comes during a banner year for spinoffs. More than 60 spinoffs are expected to be completed this year, more than in any year since 2000, according to Spin-Off Research, a subscription service for hedge funds and institutional investors.

Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N: Quote) said on Monday it would separate its computer and printer businesses from its corporate hardware and services operations.

Online auction company eBay Inc (EBAY.O: Quote) said last week it would spin off its electronics payment service PayPal.   Continued...

Symantec’s world headquarters are seen in an undated publicity photo.  REUTERS/Handout via Symantec