Symantec Corp. said late Thursday that its board had approved a split of the security company into two publicly traded companies — one focused on security and one focused on information management.
Shares of Symantec SYMC were up 3.2% after hours. The transaction will occur through a a tax-free distribution of 100% of the information management business to Symantec shareholders in the form of new stock. It should be completed by December 2015.
The announcement by the maker of Norton AntiVirus software follows a number of other companies that have decided to spin off key components, with an eye on unlocking value for investors. Recently, computer hardware giant Hewlett-Packard said it would split in two, separating its personal computer and printer businesses from its technology services.
Symantec was a pioneer in computer security in the 1990s. It also owns the Norton brand, well-known as computer security for the home market.
The company fired its CEO, Steve Bennett, in March, as it was in the midst of a restructuring. Michael Brown served as interim CEO and was appointed to the position September 24.
Symantec is the world’s largest security software vendor, according to Gartner Inc. It had 18.7% of security software market share in 2013, followed by McAfee with 8.7% and IBM with 5.7%.
SOURCE: USA Today – Laura Mandaro