Symantec Corp. (SYMC) - Get Report shares surged Thursday amid reports that chipmaker Broadcom (AVGO) - Get Report is in advanced talks to buy the cybersecurity firm's enterprise business after the two side abandoned takeover talks last month.
Multiple media reports, first published by the Wall Street Journal, suggest Broadcom is prepared to pay as much as $10 billion for Symantec's enterprise division, which had $584 million in sales over the company's March quarter, with reported billions of $712 million. Symantec is set to report its fiscal first quarter earnings after the close of trading Thursday.
Symantec shares were marked 10.3% higher Thursday to change hands at $22.52 each, a level that would give the Mountain View, California-based antivirus software firm a market value of around $13.9 billion. Broadcom shares, meanwhile, were seen 1.22% lower at $266.64 each.
"We believe the premium (of Broadcom's reported bid price) represents a balance of synergies to be realized by Broadcom and our belief that this was the only legitimate buyer for the asset," said Credit Suisse analyst Brad Zelnick. "If the acquirer can realize $1bn in cost synergies, this would imply ~55% operating margins for the Enterprise business, which is not unreasonable."
Last month, CNBC reported that Broadcom was unwilling to extend any offer past $28 a share, a level that Symantec had insisted upon in order to give a fair valuation to its overall business, which includes its Norton and LifeLock product suites.
The pair were said to be in 'advanced' talks earlier this month that analysts had assumed would lead to a deal that valued Symantec in the region of $15 billion to $20 billion.
Broadcom CEO Hock Tan told investors last month, after his company's second quarter earnings that "businesses that are franchises that we see as very sustainable and that we are able to acquire" would likely be Broadcom's near-term takeover targets, noting "we continue to be very interested in opportunities that may present themselves and we continue to be very active in assessing those opportunities."