Security firm Symantec Corp is buying U.S. identity theft protection services company LifeLock, Reuters reported this morning. The deal is reportedly worth $2.3 billion (£1.87bn), and Reuters claims this is Symantec’s way of amping up sales at its Norton cybersecurity unit. According to the report, Norton is still profitable, but its sales are in a decline for one simple reason – mobile. Norton comes preloaded on a large number of traditional computers, but people are turning more towards mobile devices.
"Norton had been declining with the declines in PC market share. This acquisition brings $660 million in revenue to the consumer business and returns it to longer sustainable growth," Symantec Chief Executive Greg Clark said in an interview.
The transaction is expected to be financed through cash on balance sheet and $750 million in debt. Symantec says the deal won’t leave a mark in the financial results next year. Executive VP of Norton Business Unit, Fran Rosch, said Symantec experimented with identity security, but would not compete with Lifelock, who currently has 4.4 million members.
"We had to extend our value proposition. It was a no brainer for us to get back to growth," Rosch said. LifeLock is an Arizona-based identity theft protection company, which offers fraud detection applications for various credit and non-credit related services.