Symantec snaps up LifeLock for $2.3 billion

Symantec logo on building

Symantec has bought identify theft protection firm LifeLock in a deal worth $2.3 billion (1.85 billion).

The acquisition comes as Symantec looks to bolster its consumer market against falling anti-virus sales. It said this would "enable sustainable consumer segment revenue and profit growth".

Symantec said it expected to finance the transaction with cash on the balance sheet and $750 million of new debt. Symantec's board of directors has also increased the company's share repurchase authorisation from approximately $800 million to $1.3 billion, with up to $500 million in repurchases targeted by the end of Symantec's fiscal year in 2017.

LifeLock offers identity theft protection services for consumers and consumer risk management services for enterprises. It also offers threat detection, identity alerts, and remediation services.

Greg Clark, Symantec CEO, said the deal marks the transformation of the consumer security industry "from malware protection to the broader category of digital safety for consumers."

"As we all know, consumer cybercrime has reached crisis levels. 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," he said.

LifeLock CEO Hilary Schneider added that having looked at alternatives, LifeLock's board of direcors concluded the deal with Symantec was "ideal" and offers shareholders "a significant premium for their investment, at closing".

"Together with Symantec we can deploy enhanced technology and analytics to provide our customers with unparalleled information and identity protection services. We are very pleased to have reached an outcome that serves the best interests of all LifeLock stakeholders," she said.

By offering each of the company's respective customer bases a broader digital safety solution, Symantec said it "expects to achieve additional revenue upside through higher ASPs and improved retention rates."

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.