Big buys this week to start out the news. Symantec Corp has announced that it will acquire U.S. identity theft protection services company LifeLock Inc for $2.3 billion. The deal comes as Symantec is looking to bolster its Norton Software offering. Symantec’s security software often comes bundled with personal computers — a fine strategy in the pre-mobile age, but one that has been less productive in recent years as the use of mobile devices has become ascendent. Norton remains profitable, but its sales are falling.
“(Norton) had been declining with the declines in PC market share. This acquisition brings $660 million in revenue to the consumer business and returns it to longer sustainable growth,” Symantec Chief Executive Greg Clark said in an interview.
The LifeLock buy goes hand-in-hand with Symantec’s broader efforts to diversify its offerings. In August, it acquired Blue Coat Inc in a $4.65 billion deal. Clark previously held the CEO spot at Blue Coat and made the switch after the deal closed.
LifeLock offers services such as monitoring new account openings and credit-related applications in order to alert consumers about unauthorized use of their identity. It also works with government agencies, merchants and creditors to remediate the impact of identity theft.
Fran Rosch, Executive Vice President of Norton Business Unit, noted that LifeLock’s 44 million users would be an excellent compliment to Symantec’s provisional expansion into web monitoring.
“We had to extend our value proposition. It was a no-brainer for us to get back to growth,” Rosch said.
Symantec expects to finance the transaction with cash on balance sheet and $750 million of new debt.