Symantec acquires LifeLock for $2.3 billion

Identity theft protection acquisition forms "world's largest digital safety platform for consumers and families."

Symantec on November 20 agreed to acquire LifeLock, a consumer identity-theft protect service, for $2.3 billion to form the "world's largest digital safety platform for consumers and families."

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The deal, which was approved by the boards of directors of both companies, is expected to close in the first calendar quarter of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions including LifeLock stockholder approval.

"As we all know, consumer cybercrime has reached crisis levels. LifeLock is a leading provider of identity and fraud protection services, with over 4.4 million highly-satisfied members and growing. With the combination of Norton and LifeLock, we will be able to deliver comprehensive cyber defense for consumers," said Greg Clark, Symantec's CEO.

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"This acquisition marks the transformation of the consumer security industry from malware protection to the broader category of Digital Safety for consumers," Clark continued.

Symantec will finance the acquisition with cash on the balance sheet and $750 million of new debt. The deal values LifeLock's at $24 per share, and it's believed to have more than 4.4 million customers.

Sources speaking to Bloomberg said private equity firms Permira, TPG, and Evergreen Coast Capital also pursued LifeLock, who was in buyout talks for several months.

Symantec believes its Norton Security and LifeLock creates "the world's largest consumer security business with over $2.3 billion in annual revenue based on last fiscal year revenues for both companies." It believes there is an addressable market of 80 million people becoming more concerned with cybersecurity.

Symantec's board of directors has also increased the company's share repurchase authorization from approximately $800 million to $1.3 billion, with up to $500 million in repurchases targeted by the end of fiscal 2017.

"After a thorough review of a broad range of alternatives, our board of directors unanimously concluded that Symantec is the ideal strategic partner for LifeLock and offers our shareholders a significant premium for their investment, at closing," said Hilary Schneider, CEO of LifeLock.

"Together with Symantec we can deploy enhanced technology and analytics to provide our customers with unparalleled information and identity protection services," Schneider continued. "We are very pleased to have reached an outcome that serves the best interests of all LifeLock stakeholders."

LifeLock became a public company in October 2012. Shares have risen roughly 40 percent this year, giving it a market cap of roughly $1.95 billion. It has 855 employees, as of October 31, 2016, and is based in Tempe, Arizona. LifeLock also has offices in San Diego, San Francisco, and Mountain View, California.

Symantec has been beefing up its cybersecurity chops in 2016. Earlier in the year, it acquired Blue Coat from Bain Capital in a $4.65 billion deal.

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