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Symantec buys Veritas - 12/16/2004 9:26:35 PM   

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Symantec buys Veritas for $13.5 billion
Security, storage software makers expect $5bln in '06 revenue

By Michael Baron & Rex Crum,
Last Update: 11:04 AM ET Dec. 16, 2004

NEW YORK (CBS.MW) -- In a sign that the appetite for technology mergers is growing, security-software maker Symantec Corp. confirmed Thursday that it would buy storage-software developer Veritas Software for $13.5 billion in stock.

The deal, which had been rumored for days, calls for Symantec (SYMC: news, chart, profile) to swap 1.1242 shares of common stock for each outstanding shares of Veritas (VRTS: news, chart, profile) common stock. When the transaction closes, Symantec shareholders will own 60 percent of the combined company with Veritas holders owning the remaining 40 percent. The company expects to have revenue of roughly $5 billion in fiscal 2006, and $5 billion in cash.

The Symantec-Veritas merger follows on the heels of Monday's conclusion to Oracle Corp.'s (ORCL: news, chart, profile) hostile bid for rival PeopleSoft Inc. (PSFT: news, chart, profile). Oracle finally claimed PeopleSoft after almost 18 months with a final price of $10.3 billion.

Symantec, a Cupertino, Calif., provider of information security software, and Veritas, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., and specializes in data protection, storage and server management software applications, expect the deal to close in the second quarter of 2005.

Investors weren't necessarily pleased with the takeover. Symantec shares fell $2.26, or more than 8 percent, to $25.16, while Veritas gave up 45 cents to trade at $27.65.

Michael Turtis of Prudential Equity Group downgraded his rating on Symantec to "neutral" from "overweight" Thursday, even before the two companies confirmed the deal. Turtis said in a research note that the deal "plus increasing competition in the consumer security market could increase operational and strategic risks and dent growth in 2005."

The combined company will be called Symantec and John Thompson, Symantec's chairman and CEO, will hold the same positions. Current Veritas Chairman and CEO Gary Bloom will be vice chairman and president of the combined company.
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