The deal is Symantec’s largest acquisition since its 2005 purchase of Veritas Software, and the latest in a series of big steps it has taken as Symantec tries to turn around its fortunes in the increasingly competitive market for computer-security products.
In January, Symantec sold off its Veritas data-storage division to Carlyle Group for $7.4 billion. Back in 2005, Symantec had paid more than $10 billion for the company, but the acquisition proved to be an unwieldy distraction.
Blue Coat helps protects companies’ web gateways from cyber attacks, a service that will complement Symantec’s existing offerings for large corporations such as email and endpoint security, Symantec executives said in an interview on Sunday.
“Blue Coat brings capabilities from the web and for network-born threats, which combined with what we already offer will provide better protection for our customers,” said Ajei Gopal, Symantec’s interim president and chief operating officer.
Symantec, which makes the Norton antivirus software, has been undergoing a transformation over the past year. It sold its data storage unit, Veritas, for $7.4 billion to a group led by Carlyle Group in January to gain the cash necessary turn around its core security software business.
Blue Coat CEO Greg Clark will take the helm of the combined corporation and join its board after the deal closes in the third quarter, both companies said in a statement. Clark will become Symantec’s fourth CEO in as many years, fulfilling its search for a leader with experience running a cybersecurity company and providing what investors hope will be much-needed stability. He replaces Michael Brown, who had overseen the January sale of Symantec’s Veritas data-storage division for $7.4 billion to the Carlyle Group LP.
The Mountain View, California-based company is in the midst of a major transition as it tries to recapture its momentum in the fast-growing cybersecurity market. The world’s largest developer of security software — which reduced its sales and earnings forecasts in April — is trying to re-invent itself for an industry that’s now vastly different from the antivirus software arena it helped pioneer.