Veritas-Symantec Merger Gets Shareholder Nod

Shareholders approved the merger of Veritas and Symantec on Friday, clearing the way for one of the largest software mergers ever.

There was some question whether Symantec shareholders would go for the deal, with Symantec’s stock off more than 30% since the deal was announced in December. But support from the influential Institutional Shareholder Services a week before the vote proved pivotal, and shareholders of both companies voted overwhelmingly in favor of the merger between the security and storage software giants.

Of the 76 percent of outstanding Symantec shares that were voted, nearly 95 percent were cast in favor of the merger. 98% of the voted Veritas shares backed the deal.

Symantec chief John Thompson will remain chairman and CEO of the combined company, while Veritas CEO Gary Bloom will become vice chairman and president. Symantec’s John Schwarz will also be president.

The deal was worth $13.5 billion at the time it was announced, but because of the decline in shares of both companies, the final price may be around $10.5 billion, slightly above the price Oracle paid for PeopleSoft. The deal will officially close on July 2.

The merger may also have benefited from its timeliness. Since it was first announced, several high-profile data security breaches have raised awareness of storage security and spurred efforts to craft a national data privacy law.

Just last week, Network Appliance added to the growing convergence of storage and security with a $272 million offer for data encryption specialist Decru.

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Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for Time.com, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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