Symantec buy creates Aussie millionaires

The Australian founders of PC Tools are likely to belaughing all the way to the bank this morning after the locallybased firm was acquired overnight by giant global rivalSymantec.

update The Australian founders of PC Tools are likely to be laughing all the way to the bank this morning after the locally based firm was acquired overnight by giant global rival Symantec.

PC Tools chief executive Simon Clausen and partner Peter McKow founded PC Tools back in 1998 as a website, with News Limited newspapers reporting the pair eschewed venture capital to fund their operations off the back of their credit cards.

As late as April 2007, Clausen told News Limited, the firm was on track to report revenues of greater than $50 million. At that stage the founders didn't have any plans to sell the venture.

However, acquisitive global security giant Symantec, which has its headquarters in the US, last night announced it had bought the firm for an undisclosed amount. It's likely, given PC Tools' reported revenues, that both Clausen and McKow have enjoyed a multi-million-dollar pay day, although no details are currently available.

PC Tools employs 200 staff worldwide, most of which are in Sydney and Melbourne, while Symantec has more than 700 employees across Australia and New Zealand.

"Part of the reason Symantec is acquiring PC Tools is because of the knowledge and experience possessed by PC Tools employees," a Symantec spokesperson said in a statement this afternoon.

"Therefore, we are very interested in retaining PC Tools employees after the acquisition and the plan is that PC Tools will continue with business as usual with no immediate changes."

This morning a Sydney spokesman for PC Tools declined to answer questions on the sale, punting all enquiries back to Symantec.

In a statement issued globally, Symantec said the deal was expected to close by the end of 2008 and was subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Clausen would continue to lead PC Tools as a separate operation within Symantec's consumer business unit, Symantec said, reporting to Symantec's group president of consumer products Janice Chaffin.

"PC Tools will continue to offer their products under the PC Tools brand and service its customers through its existing partners and channels," Symantec said.

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