Symantec Could Sell Veritas To Private Investors For North Of $8 Billion

Symantec is shopping around its Veritas storage and data-backup division to private investors, according to a Wall Street Journal report published Friday.

The cyber-security vendor, which has been planning to spin off its storage business as Veritas Technologies Corp., might get more than $8 billion from a private equity firm or industry bidder, a source told the newspaper. Symantec acquired Veritas back in 2005 for roughly $13.5 billion in stock.

The Wall Street Journal reported that other interested parties had also approached Symantec to discuss a potential deal.

[Related: Symantec Exec: Split Is Underway, And We See Massive Opportunity Ahead For Partners]

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Symantec said back in October of last year that it would split into two public companies.

Tricia Atchison, Symantec's senior director of channel marketing, told partners last month at 2015 XChange Solution Provider in Dallas that the security and storage divisions would start behaving as separate companies April 1, and brand identity and strategy for Veritas would be revealed later in the month.

"It's a really exciting time at Symantec as we split the company into two. We think it will provide us a lot of opportunity as we go forward in both businesses," Atchison said at XChange.

Atchison said Symantec and Veritas will continue to work with partners as they always have and roll out new tools to help partners navigate the transition. She said Symantec is trying its best to be consistent in its messaging and regularly update its channel every month on the progress of the split.

"We will continue down this path of being a market-led company and working with our partners," Atchison said last month.

But not all partners have confidence in the separation strategy.

Daniel Duffy, CEO of Valley Network Solutions, a Symantec partner based in Fresno, Calif., told CRN he believes the split will just confuse customers and harm synergy.

"I’m not happy to see the company split up and don’t think that’s going to be good for customers or partners," Duffy said.

In a research document released later Friday, Raymond James Equity Research touted a private-equity deal of the kind reported in the Wall Street Journal and reiterated its Outperform rating for the vendor.

"We think a Veritas sale would be a positive for Symantec and makes sense following the company's breakup announcement into separate security and storage businesses last year," the Raymond James researchers said.

Raymond James valued Veritas at $5.5 billion to $7.6 billion using public and private market valuations.

Symantec stock was trading 5.6 percent higher at the close of the market on the news.