DigiCert, a Thoma Bravo portfolio company, is acquiring a majority stake in Symantec Corp.’s (Nasdaq: SYMC) web security and public key infrastructure (PKI) services division for approximately $950 million in up-front cash. Symantec will acquire a 30 percent stake in DigiCert as part of the transaction.
Symantec’s web security business brings “growth opportunities” in Internet of Things (IoT) to DigiCert, and new approaches to the secure sockets layer markets. Symantec has been reinventing itself in recent years to keep up with the fast growing cybersecurity sector. As one of the world’s largest developers of security technology, Symantec has been transitioning as the industry is no longer solely focused on the antivirus software sector the company once helped to build. The Mountain View, California-based company has remained active in its corporate transition with the purchase of malware defense company Fireglass and mobile device defense firm Skycure.
“Transitioning our website security and related PKI solutions to DigiCert allows us to sharpen our enterprise focus on delivering unparalleled protection for the cloud generation through Symantec's Integrated Cyber Defense Platform,” states Symantec CEO Greg Clark. “As our recently announced deals with Fireglass and Skycure demonstrate, we are accelerating the pace of innovation we bring to market through a combination of acquisitions as well as development from the ground up.”
Founded in 2003, DigiCert makes authentication and encryption software for government agencies, financial institutions and technology companies. In August 2015, private equity firm Thoma Bravo acquired a majority stake in DigiCert, while TA associates remained a minority stake. TA Associates first backed the Lehi, Utah-based software developer in 2012. Serving more than 115,000 customers, some of DigiCert’s clients include: BMW, Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB), PayPal Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: PYPL), and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM).
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (NYSE: JPM) is serving as financial adviser to Symantec, and Fenwick & West LLP is serving as legal counsel. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal counsel to Thoma Bravo and DigiCert, while UBS Investment Bank (NYSE: UBS), Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS), and Jefferies LLC are serving as financial advisers. Financing for the transaction was provided by UBS Investment Bank, Credit Suisse, Jefferies and Goldman Sachs Bank USA (NYSE: GS).