Symantec buying PGP Corp., GuardianEdge for $370 million

Acquisition of privately-held companies gives Symantec encryption foothold

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Symantec Thursday announced plans to acquire PGP Corp. and GuardianEdge Technologies for approximately $370 million, a move that will give Symantec a firm foothold in the encryption technology market.

Catch up on 2010's biggest tech M&A deals 

Symantec indicated two main factors prompting its interest in owning core encryption technologies: the area of regulatory compliance in which encryption is now often a requirement (such as in Massachusetts); and the growth in use of mobile devices.

"As information becomes increasingly mobile, it's essential to take an information-centric approach to security," said Francis deSouza, senior vice president of Symantec's Enterprise Security Group. "With these acquisitions we can further protect information by using encryption in an intelligent and policy-driven way to give the right users access to the right information, enabling the trust that individuals and organizations need to operate confidently in an information-driven world."

Symantec said it will be paying about $300 million for PGP and $70 million for GuardianEdge, with the acquisitions expected to formally close during the June quarter.

Symantec kicked off 2010 by acquiring Gideon Technologies, which has a product called SecureFusion which supports the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) for automating security configuration information, vulnerability assessment and patch checking. SCAP has become a required standard in the U.S. government for use with Windows desktops and other computer systems to enable security information sharing in heterogeneous environments.

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