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Symantec to split into two companies

Chris Finnamore
10 Oct 2014
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Latest in rash of tech businesses to be rended asunder

Security and backup giant Symantec has announced that it will "separate into two public industry-leading technology companies".

The Californian-based technology company, best known among consumers for its Norton anti-virus software, will become one company focused on information security, and another on "Information Management", such as Cloud storage and backup.

Symantec claims the split "follows an extensive business review of the company’s strategy and operational structure. Creating two standalone businesses will allow each entity to maximize its respective growth opportunities and drive greater shareholder value".

A quick glance at the Products and Solutions section of the $16 billion company's website shows what a behemoth it has become, with 110 items listed under the "Products A-Z" section.  

Symantec says the split will "increase focus and strategic flexibility". Some say the move is long overdue, as the security side of the business is consistently more profitable than the storage aspect; in Symantec's last set of results, for the three months ending 4th July 2014, operating income for "User Productivity and Protection" and "Information Security" had increased from the same period in 2013 by $56 million, while "Information Management" had decreased by $59 million.

The split follows a series of "it's not you, it's me" moments by US tech companies in the last month, with Hewlett-Packard and eBay also announcing plans to spin off parts of their businesses into separate companies.  

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