Symantec buy creates Aussie millionaires

Symantec buy creates Aussie millionaires

Summary: 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.

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TOPICS: Security, Symantec
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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.

Are you a PC Tools employee? Tip off ZDNet.com.au on the quiet as to what's going on at the company today. We'll keep you anonymous.

Topics: Security, Symantec

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8 comments
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  • attribution?

    how can mr clausen "tell news limited". news limited is an organization. he would've had to say something like that to a news limited publication like The Australian or The Daily Telegraph..
    anonymous
  • Symantec aquires PC Tools

    Symantec will now proceed, as they always do, to absorb the product and let the employees progressively go. It's called 'killing off the competition'
    anonymous
  • Norton revisited

    Fine words from Symantec, but remember Norton Utilities? I thought not. Symantec purchased Norton Utilities with promise to keep the brand, keep it separate, and let Peter Norton keep running it. Didn't take too long for "creative" differences to arise and Peter jumped ship, and Norton vanished as a separate brand..

    Watch this space :-)
    anonymous
  • Getting Desperate?

    I see a couple of scenarios. Symantec is widely despised due to bugs, over-complexity and the way it takes control of all files on a PC. So perhaps Symantec will push an antivirus variant of it's software into Spyware Doctor to generate sales it is no longer making in that field. Or maybe they will soak up the antispyware feature from PC Tools, kill it off as others have suggested and make NIS even more complex - killing more and more PCs. Either way, I can't see Symantec digging it's way out of a hole it falling further into by the day.
    anonymous
  • There goes a good set of products ...

    I've used PC Tools products since DOS days - they have always been reliable and done the job effectively.

    Like XTree, Ghost, and I've forgotton how many other extremely useful and essential programs, Symantec will eventually stuff up any and probably ALL of the current PC Tools suite - or more likely simply bury them to kill off what it sees as competition. SIGH ...
    anonymous
  • Another casualty of the Norton Virus

    PC-Tools RIP
    anonymous
  • PC tools employee will be out of job soon

    Symantec is outsourcing their entire IT department to EDS. Do you really think they will keep the PC Tools employee?
    anonymous
  • Central Point Software

    The PC Tools software was made by Central Point Software and has nothing to do with the company PC Tools. However ithey were also purchased by Symantec.
    anonymous