Symantec expands security offerings further with the acquisition of identity and authentication business from VeriSign

Symantec has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire VeriSign's identity and authentication business.

This will include the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate services, public key infrastructure (PKI) services, VeriSign Trust services and the VeriSign identity protection (VIP) authentication service.

Following its recent acquisitions of both PGP and GuardianEdge, this deal further strengthens the Symantec portfolio with certification services, and with stronger page and identity security.

Under the terms of the agreement, Symantec will purchase the specific assets from VeriSign, including the majority stake in VeriSign Japan, for a purchase price of approximately $1.28 billion in cash. The agreement is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the September quarter.

By combining VeriSign's SSL certificate services with Symantec's critical system protection or protection suite for servers, Symantec will help organisations ensure a higher level of security on their web servers as well as verify that security, providing users with the trust and confidence necessary to do business online.

Enrique Salem, president and CEO of Symantec, said: “IT is faced with the challenge of giving users the appropriate access, while ensuring that corporate data is not at risk. We believe the solution to this dilemma lies in the ubiquity of identity-based security.

“With the combined products and reach from Symantec and VeriSign, we are poised to drive the adoption of identity security as the means to provide simple and secure access to anything from anywhere, to prevent identity fraud and to make online experiences more user-friendly and hassle-free.”

Mark McLaughlin, VeriSign president and CEO, said: “This transaction allows VeriSign to focus on the growing internet infrastructure services business, where we expect to build on our expertise and record of success as the long time operator of the .com and .net domain infrastructures.

“Following the close of this transaction, VeriSign will have a strong balance sheet, growth opportunities and a continuing commitment to deliver value to our customers and shareholders. The market for security and authentication services is rapidly changing in favour of large distribution channels, extensive product sets and integrated service delivery. We believe Symantec's leading position as the premier end-to-end security provider will enable them to better serve our authentication customers and accelerate market growth.”

Jim Bidzos, VeriSign founder and executive chairman, said: “For 15 years, VeriSign has pioneered the SSL and related authentication services business. Today, Symantec is the best company to drive this business forward, and we believe this transaction will benefit our employees, customers and shareholders.”

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