Symantec Reportedly Puts $1B Web Certificate Business Up For Sale

Symantec is said to be eyeing another massive change to its portfolio, with a report Tuesday that the company could be looking to sell its website certificate business for more than $1 billion.

The Reuters report, citing unnamed sources, said the Mountain View, Calif.-based company has talked with a few possible suitors, including both corporations and private equity. That being said, the report said talks are early stages and it is not clear if a deal will ultimately happen.

The sale would essentially undo Symantec's $1.28 billion acquisition in 2010 of Verisign. The report said the Verisign business currently accounts for about $400 million of Symantec's revenue. The company reported $3.6 billion in total revenue in 2016.

[Related: Symantec To Boost Mobile Security Capabilities With Plan To Acquire Skycure]

Symantec declined to comment in an email to CRN.

The report of a sale comes after turbulent months for Symantec's certificate business. In particular, Google accused Symantec earlier this year of a "series of failures" to "properly validate certificates," which caused "significant risk for Google Chrome users" as the certificates verify if websites can be trusted.

Symantec is making big moves around its security portfolio, too. In the past two weeks, the company has announced the planned acquisitions of threat isolation company Fireglass and mobile security company Skycure.

Both acquisitions will build on Symantec's strategy to grow its Integrated Cyber Defense Platform strategy as it looks to provide a full, integrated platform of cybersecurity offerings to partners.

Clark said in the fall that Symantec would be looking to build out its security portfolio through acquisition, following on the heels of two blockbuster acquisitions by Symantec last year. Symantec acquired Blue Coat Systems last summer for $4.65 billion and LifeLock last fall for $2.3 billion.

Clark said Symantec would be building a security story around the four pillars of information, users, the web and messaging security, using both R&D and acquisitions. 

Jeremy Samide, CEO of Cleveland, Ohio-based Stealthcare, said his company resells the full suite of Symantec products, including the website certificate offerings. However, he said he doesn't expect the sale would have a "significant impact" on his business, as it focuses on selling the company's endpoint, cloud, email, enterprise and DLP products.

Samide said selling the website certificate business could be a "smart move" for Symantec, giving it more capital to funnel into other areas of its portfolio.

"The certificate business has become commoditized, and we are excited to see Symantec focus more on their R&D on their endpoint products, the cloud, and other enterprise products in the technology stack," Samide said. "Offloading the certificate business is a strategic move that allows Symantec to focus on and develop leading edge technologies that Stealthcare will continue to take to the market and its diverse client base."

 

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