Symantec buying spree continues

The security software maker extends its string of recent acquisitions, announcing plans to buy infrastructure management applications provider On Technology in a $100 million cash deal.

Security software maker Symantec extended its string of recent acquisitions on Monday, announcing plans to buy infrastructure management applications provider On Technology in a $100 million cash deal.

The transaction represents the latest in a slew of buyouts made by Symantec, which announced last week that it had acquired SafeWeb, a maker of secure network devices, for $26 million in cash. Symantec also bought four companies in 2002: intrusion detection software maker Recourse Technologies, managed security provider RipTech, security information service SecurityFocus, and security management software maker Mountain Wave.

Under the terms of the agreement, Symantec will pay On Technology shareholders $4 per share. The acquisition is expected to close by March 2004. The boards of directors from both companies have already approved the deal.

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The acquisition marks another step in Symantec's strategy to expand its holdings in network management software. The company said it can help businesses create more secure corporate computing networks by providing applications--such as On Technology's hard-disk imaging software--that help them design systems, as well as by marketing its core virus detection and remote management products.

With the On Technology buyout, Symantec is also looking to fill out its recently formed enterprise administration business unit. Among the tools the company is gaining are On Technology's applications and patch management products, which Symantec plans to integrate with its widespread Ghost PC management software line.

Last week Symantec introduced its Ghost 8.0 Corporate Edition, which aims to eliminate much of the grunt work that goes along with updating software on business computers. Symantec also is getting On Technology's configuration and inventory management applications, as well as its software distribution skills.

"Enterprise infrastructure management and enterprise security must be intrinsically linked to protect today's networked environments against the evolving threat landscape," On Technology CEO Robert Doretti said in a statement. "By joining forces with Symantec, we can provide customers with industry-leading management solutions that take advantage of the most comprehensive source of threat and vulnerability intelligence."

On Technology also brings Symantec a number of high-profile customers, including New York Life Insurance, the Home Depot and Volvo.

Symantec officials declined to say how the buyout might affect staffing at the two companies, but it pointed to the fact that it has historically kept at least the sales, software development and marketing teams from companies it has acquired.