Symantec to pay $4.65 billion to acquire Blue Coat

Greg Clark to become Symantec CEO, promising new cloud security

Cybersecurity firm Symantec has announced its intention to acquire web security firmBlue Coat for $4.65 billion.

Symantec is best known for its Norton series of security products, and also maintains one of the world's largest cyber intelligence networks.

Buying Blue Coat will help it enhance the protections it offers customers, the firm claimed, as well as helping them to securely take advantage of the cloud by combining its own technologies with those of Blue Coat.

Following the closing of the agreement, Greg Clark, CEO of Blue Coat, will be appointed CEO of Symantec and join the Symantec board.

Speaking about the deal, Clark said: "Today, Symantec keeps global enterprises, governments and individual consumers protected with solutions across threat protection. Likewise, Blue Coat is the trusted source for protecting billions of web transactions daily and is the clear leader in the growing cloud security market.

"Once combined, we will offer customers around the world from large enterprises and governments to individual consumers unrivaled threat protection and unmatched cloud security."

He added: "I am very excited about the opportunity to join Symantec as CEO and look forward to working with the strongest, deepest team in security to realise the many strategic and financial benefits this transaction will create."

Dan Schulman, chairman of Symantec, added: "Greg and the entire Blue Coat leadership team have done an exceptional job of strengthening, growing and scaling their business. In addition to a proven track record of delivering scale and profitable growth, Greg brings significant leadership experience, deep security expertise and a history of successfully integrating companies into a single portfolio."

Once the deal has been completed, Symantec plans to merge its threat telemetry with Blue Coat's networks and cloud offerings to provide security solutions across "hundreds of millions of endpoints and servers".

The company also said it will be able to deliver "security for the cloud generation of users, data and apps", applying its data loss prevention software for web proxies and to over 12,000 cloud applications.

Blue Coat provides security to more than 15,000 customers worldwide. For company's fiscal year ending 30 April, it took $598 million in GAAP revenue.

In tandem with the acquisition deal, financial backers of Symantec have stumped up further investments. Silver Lake has doubled its investment to $1 billion, and Bain Capital has pledged $750 million.

The transaction $4.651 billion, to be paid in cash has been approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016.

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