Symantec looking to sell service-oriented unit Altiris: report

Summary:The security and anti-malware giant has put Altiris up for sale, according to reports, for an undisclosed sum, and is drawing interest from private equity firms, sources say.

Security and anti-malware firm Symantec has put one of its subsidiaries up for sale, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Service oriented software firm Altiris Inc., which Symantec bought for $830 million -- or $33 a share -- in 2007, is on the market, according to the Journal, and is already drawing a bevy of interest from a number of private equity firms, sources confirmed to the paper.

Altiris provides IT management software to other firms to help connect end-point connections to networked devices. The firm is expected to fetch less than the asking price, the sources said, but did not say for how much the company was asking for.

Symantec has, in recent months, struggled with management changes and a shuffle in the C-level suite. Symantec chairman Steve Bennett became chief executive in July 2012 after former boss Enrique Salem was removed following a spate of poor performance under his reign. Bennett continues to cut the fat from the overweight company in a bid to help re-focus the business on its core operations.

Symantec rose by more than 4.5 percent on the Nasdaq on the news in mid-afternoon trading. 

Update at 4:00 p.m. ET: We've heard back from Symantec. A company spokesperson said that while the company "does not comment on rumors or speculation with regards to [mergers and acquisitions] or divestiture activity," they added: "As we said last October, Symantec is evaluating all of its options to create more return for its shareholders and will have more information to share at our strategy announcement next week."

Next week it is, then.

Topics: Security

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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