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Broadcom flogs Symantec unit to Accenture

Ever-acquisitive Accenture is buying a cybersecurity business from Broadcom in a bid to fortify its own security operation.

While the financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, the deal is for a chunk of the Symantec assets that semiconductor maker Broadcom picked up as recently as November for the sum of $10.7 billion.

The Cyber Security Services unit that Accenture is buying will become a part of the Accenture Security business, bringing a host of useful capabilities and insights.

Specifically, Accenture gets six new security operations centers in the US, the UK, India, Australia, Singapore and Japan, as well as a cloud-based platform that serves up intelligence on security threats worldwide. Some 300 employees will shift from Broadcom to Accenture as a result of the deal.

The transaction is expected to close in March.

Why this matters
The latest deal surprised Tom Rebbeck, the research director of Analysys Mason, who tweeted that it was a "little odd" given how recently Broadcom completed its own takeover of Symantec's enterprise software assets. However, Broadcom appears to be flogging only a part of the Symantec business that does not fit with its plans, although the size of the unit in revenue terms is not yet clear.

Nevertheless, it seems like a handy bolt-on for Accenture, which reckons the Symantec goodies will help it to provide more tailor-made managed security services to its clients. That's largely down to the trove of data analytics the systems integrator and professional services giant picks up with the deal.

The transaction marks a continuation of Accenture's acquisition strategy. Last year, the Dublin-headquartered company spent about $1.2 billion on 33 takeovers, including several in the security area (Déjà vu Security, iDefense, Maglan, Redcore, Arismore and FusionX).

But this amount is a relatively small sum given that Accenture made $43.2 billion in revenues in its last fiscal year, and about $1.1 billion in net income. The deal-making seems to be working out, too. Sales were up 8.5% last year in local currency units, and Accenture is this year guiding for revenue growth of between 5% and 8% in local currency units.

Shares were down about 1.7% in New York at the time of writing, to $204.97, but they are up 45% on the price this time last year.

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— Iain Morris, International Editor, Light Reading

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