Symantec buys MessageLabs for $695 million; Bolsters SaaS lineup

Summary:Somebody is finding some values out there in techland. Symantec on Wednesday said it is acquiring MessageLabs for $695 million in cash.

Somebody is finding some values out there in techland. Symantec on Wednesday said it is acquiring MessageLabs for $695 million in cash.

MessageLabs, which offers messaging and Web security services, had about $145 million in revenue for the fiscal year ending July 31.

Symantec said that the final price will depend on currency fluctuations--it is paying pounds for MessageLabs--but the bigger theme here is that the security software giant is grabbing some turf in the software as a service market.

In a statement (Techmeme) Symantec said its plan was the following:

  • Use MessageLabs to bolster its online messaging security services;
  • Cross-sell and up sell its SaaS-based storage and online remote access products to MessageLabs customers;
  • Use MessageLabs to position the company as a SaaS player;
  • And more importantly be able to offer a SaaS lineup as customers worry about IT spending.

On a conference call with analysts, Symantec CEO John Thomspson said:

This transaction immediately leverages our respective core competitive strengths. It will extend Symantec’s software expertise in data loss prevention, compliance, archiving and endpoint security solutions when combined with MessageLabs’s online expertise in email, web security and instant messaging. The combination will create what we believe will be the most comprehensive SaaS offerings with a simplified user experience that packages billing, support and application management through one easy-to-use portal. Increasingly, our customers want choice. The opportunity to provide them an expanded set of on-premise and off-premise solutions for many of their most critical information management challenges is truly exciting.


Simply put, MessageLabs is a nice hedge to Symantec's core business of selling you suites of security apps. Symantec said MessageLabs will give it a strong portfolio of SaaS offerings and cloud infrastructure services. If the cloud ever replaces the shrink-wrap Symantec will be in position.

Topics: Security, Cloud, Innovation


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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