US CHIPMAKER Broadcom is in 'advanced talks' to acquire security outfit Symantec, according to Bloomberg.
Such a deal would come just a year after the company acquired software maker CA Technologies in a surprise $18.9bn deal.
According to Bloomberg's sources, any deal would be likely to value Symantec at more than $15bn. It would also be the second major acquisition of a security software maker by a semiconductor company - although the first didn't exactly turn out well.
Intel purchased anti-virus software vendor McAfee for $7.68bn in a deal completed in February 2011. But the chipmaker later sold a major stake in McAfee to private equity firm TPG after failing to integrate and capitalise on the McAfee business and losing market share to rivals in the security software market.
Symantec has struggled with deteriorating earnings and several other issues in recent years, as other security software and services companies have boomed.
The company was an early market leader in anti-virus software following its May 1990 acquisition of Peter Norton Computing, responsible for the widely used Norton Anti-Virus, but is now under pressure from cloud security companies.
Last month, Symantec CEO Greg Clark stepped down after the company missed its revenue estimates for the fourth quarter. Symantec director Richard Hill was then named as interim president and CEO.
In August 2018, Symantec cut its revenue forecast and revealed its plan to cut eight per cent of its staff worldwide.
Symantec's troubles have also hit its stock, which on Tuesday was less than a two-thirds of its value in August 2017. After Bloomberg published its report, Symantec's shares soared to $27.35, adding about $3 billion to its stock market value.
The news, however, wiped $5bn off Broadcom, whose stock fell by more than four per cent, indicating investor unease about Broadcom's continuing shift into software following the failure of its bid for Qualcomm.
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