Networking chip giant Broadcom is in talks to acquire security software specialist Symantec for $15 billion, according to multiple reports including this one from Bloomberg.
The report, citing anonymous sources, suggests a deal could be sealed within a few weeks. The news sent Broadcom's share price down by 3.54% to close Wednesday at $284.89 on the Nasdaq, while Symantec's stock gained 13.6% to close at $25.10, giving the company a market valuation of $15.52 billion.
If a deal was to be struck, it would represent Broadcom's second software-centric acquisition in two years: The company bought CA for $18.9 billion last year, just months after abandoning its efforts to acquire Qualcomm. (That's a crazy sentence right there…)
When it closed the CA takeover in November 2018, Broadcom immediately sold CA's Veracode security unit to Thoma Bravo for $950 million. At the same time, Symantec was acquiring two specialists, mobile security firm Appthority and endpoint protection startup Javelin Networks.
If the reported Broadcom/Symantec talks come to something, it'll be fascinating to hear the rationale behind such a move, keeping in mind that Intel acquired software-centric security vendor McAfee in 2011 for about $7.7 billion and offloaded it in 2017 in a deal valued at $4.4 billion, having failed to achieve the anticipated synergies.
Broadcom recently reported a 10% year-on-year increase in fiscal second-quarter revenues to $5.5 billion, while Symantec, which is currently being run by interim CEO Richard Hill, reported fiscal fourth-quarter revenues of almost $1.19 billion, slightly down year-on-year.
For more on this, see:
- Broadcom Buys CA – Huh?
- Symantec Makes 2 Acquisitions, While Broadcom Dumps CA's Veracode Unit
- Symantec Seeks to Slash SaaS Security Response Time
- AirTies Teams With Broadcom on WiFi 6
- Data Center Switching Enters the 400G Era
- The Programmable Switch Era Is Here... At Last!
- McAfee's Independence Day
— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading