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Symantec to Buy VeriSign's Security Biz

Symantec has swallowed VeriSign's authentication and identity business for $1.28 billion.



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authentication and identity business for $1.28 billion in an attempt to boost its e-commerce offering.

The VeriSign products included in the deal encrypt online transaction data and will flesh out Symantec's own portfolio of security products.

"We're very strong at securing information at endpoints like PCs, we're very strong at securing information in the data center," said James Beer, Symantec's CFO, in an interview with


. "VeriSign sits in the middle; it secures the information when in motion."

The all-cash deal encompasses a range of VeriSign services, including Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificates, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and Identity Protection Authentication.

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Symantec's acquisition of VeriSign

didn't appear completely out of the blue. Speculation started to circulate earlier this week after CFO Brian Robins pulled out of a JPMorgan investors conference. VeriSign was also said to be shopping its security unit around in recent days, according to a


report Tuesday afternoon.

"I think this gives us terrific positioning as a company that can engender trust on the Internet," said Beer. "E-commerce is going to continue to grow and the need to secure it will continue to grow."

Excluding items, the acquisition is expected to be 9 cents dilutive to Symantec's 2011 earnings per share due to the purchase price accounting write down of deferred revenue, and accretive to earnings per share in the September 2011 quarter.

The acquisition is expected to close in Symantec's September quarter, according to Beer.

VeriSign shares climbed 71 cents, or 2.54%, to $28.70 in extended trading on Wednesday. Symantec's stock was essentially flat at $15.63.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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