- Gillian TanThe Wall Street JournalCANCEL
- Dana MattioliThe Wall Street JournalCANCEL
Updated April 10, 2015 5:31 p.m. ET
is exploring a sale of its Veritas data-storage and recovery business, according to people familiar with the matter, as it moves forward with a plan to split into two publicly traded companies.
The cybersecurity company in recent weeks has contacted private-equity firms and possible industry bidders about buying Veritas, the people said. The business could fetch more than $8 billion in a sale, one of the people said.
Symantec, which in the late 1980s pioneered computer security with its antivirus software, last year announced that it would split its cybersecurity and information-management businesses into two publicly traded companies. In January, it said that the information-management company would be named Veritas Technologies Corp.
- Symantec Plans to Split Security, Data Businesses (October 2014)
The company is considering a sale of Veritas as an alternative to the split, the people said. There is no guarantee that a deal will be done, and taxes related to separating Veritas from its parent through a sale could be an obstacle, they added.
“We are on track to separate Veritas and Symantec into two independently traded companies by the end of the calendar year—one focused on information management and one focused on security,” Symantec spokeswoman Kristen Batch said in an email.
Symantec bought Veritas in 2005 in an all-stock deal valued around $13.5 billion. Veritas provides a suite of information backup and recovery, storage management, disaster recovery and archiving products that are used by 75% of the Fortune 500, according to Symantec’s website.
Mountain View, Calif.-based Symantec has struggled to shift its consumer-security business to subscriptions from one-time license sales. In March 2014, the company fired Chief Executive Steve Bennett, the second CEO it ousted in less than two years.
Symantec announced the plan at a time when several other corporate titans were planning spinoffs. Hewlett-Packard Co.
last year said it would split into two companies, and eBay Inc.
announced that it would spin off its PayPal unit.
Write to Gillian Tan at firstname.lastname@example.org and Dana Mattioli at email@example.com
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