Symantec to Buy Security Vendor Axent for US$975M

Symantec will acquire e-business security software company Axent Technologies for $US975 million in stock, the companies announced Thursday.

Symantec will give one share of its stock for every two shares of Axent in the deal, according to a joint company statement. At Wednesday's closing price for Symantec of $63.69, the transaction values Axent at $31.84 a share, a 67 percent premium above Wednesday's close of $19.06 per Axent share. Symantec will issue about 15.3 million shares in the deal.

The companies said they estimate combined revenue of $1 billion for the 12 months ending in March 2001.

"I believe Axent and Symantec have a shared vision about the opportunity that has come about," said Greg Coticchia, vice president of marketing for Axent. "One has to offer a broad range of products and services. We have a very complementary set of products, like intrusion detection, vulnerability assessment and firewall products."

Symantec produces the Norton line of antivirus and security software for homes and small businesses, and is the better-known name among consumers. "Symantec's touching a lot of desktops, while we're touching a lot of servers," Coticchia said.

Axent focuses on the commercial computer security software market and is perhaps best known for its NetProwler network monitoring software. Coticchia said the merger gives Symantec a foothold in managed security services, which "isn't an easy business to get into -- it requires a lot of institutional knowledge."

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