Symantec Corporation, one of the world’s largest online security companies, is buying identity theft protection company LifeLock Inc. for $2.3 billion in a cash-and-debt deal. The deal “will create the world’s largest consumer security business with over $2.3 billion in annual revenue based on last fiscal year revenues for both companies,” according to a Sunday press release issued by Symantec.
Antivirus software Norton is Symantec’s most well-known brand and is still profitable but its sales have fallen in tandem with dropping sales of personal computers, and the company is trying to make inroads into the cybersecurity business. Earlier this year, it acquired Blue Coat Systems Inc. for $4.65 billion from Bain Capital. The LifeLock deal is another step in the same direction.
Symantec CEO Greg Clark said in the statement: “LifeLock is a leading provider of identity and fraud protection services, with over 4.4 million highly-satisfied members and growing. With the combination of Norton and LifeLock, we will be able to deliver comprehensive cyber defense for consumers. This acquisition marks the transformation of the consumer security industry from malware protection to the broader category of digital safety for consumers.”
The deal values Tempe, Arizona, company LifeLock at $24 per share, a 15.7 percent premium to Friday’s closing price on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Symantec plans to finance the deal with existing cash and $750 million of new debt.
In December 2015, LifeLock paid $110 million to settle charges brought by the Federal Trade Commission for deceptive advertising and not securing customers’ personal information.
Subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, the deal is expected to close by March 2017.
Shares of LifeLock closed 0.14 percent higher at $20.75 Friday on NYSE, while Symantec shares closed 0.34 percent down at $23.75 on Nasdaq. Symantec’s market capitalization of $14.7 billion is more than seven times that of LifeLock.