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Report: Symantec May Be Close To Spending $2B For LifeLock, An Identity Theft Protection Service

Partners say the acquisition could add more analytics capabilities and threat intelligence to Symantec's offerings.

Following its blockbuster Blue Coat Systems acquisition this summer, Symantec may be looking to make another big buy, according to Bloomberg. Published reports say the security vendor is close to buying LifeLock in a deal that could be worth as much as $2 billion.

LifeLock, based in Tempe, Ariz., offers proactive fraudulent activity monitoring and prevention, predictive analytics for fraud potential and theft protection and remediation services. The company adds more than 50 million identity elements a day – unstructured data from a variety of sources, including credit and wireless application, black market websites, and more.

A report in Bloomberg on Monday said Symantec is among a list of companies interested in bidding on LifeLock, citing people familiar with the matter. The report said buyout group Permira and private equity group TPG, which in the process of closing a deal on competitor Intel Security, is also eyeing the company.

[Related: 10 Companies Symantec Could Buy Next]

The report said a LifeLock sale could be worth as much as $2 billion. LifeLock has engaged Goldman Sachs to evaluate its sale options. Elliott Management owns an 11 percent stake in LifeLock. Elliott Management also reportedly has a large stake in Symantec.

Symantec declined to comment, saying it does not comment on rumors or speculation.

The report comes on the heels of Symantec's acquisition of Blue Coat, which closed in August at a price tag of $4.65 billion. CEO Greg Clark has said that Symantec isn't done making acquisitions yet, saying it will "continue to do the inorganic things that we've done for many years." Clark said Symantec plans to build on the four pillars or information, users, web and messaging security.

Robert Keblusek, CTO of Sentinel Technologies, a Downers Grove, Ill.- based Symantec partner, said an acquisition of a company like LifeLock could make a lot of sense for the security vendor if it helps feed their intelligence engine. He said security analytics are a "huge way for security companies to differentiate themselves" in today's marketplace.

"If it would feed more analytics intelligence and make overall security portfolio stronger for zero-day activity, I think that is one of the biggest end games for any of these vendors," Keblusek said.

That security analytics and intelligence capability will prove key as Symantec looks to go head to head with other major security vendors, such as Cisco, which also offer extensive threat intelligence and security capabilities, Keblusek said.

"You can have an excellent product that does a lot of the blocking and protects endpoints but if you don't have the intelligence to know what to block and what to do then that’s very difficult," Keblusek said.

The report did not say when the sale in question might occur if it were to go through.

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