Security "Bits"

Bluecoat + Symantec: dinosaurs' union?

By Nat Kausik | June 14, 2016 at 10:16 PM




On Monday we read that Symantec bought Bluecoat for a whopping 4.5B. More like Bluecoat pwned Symantec 

  • Bluecoat CEO is the CEO of the combined company.
  • Bluecoat valued at half of Symantec despite being 15% in sales.

What gives? Symantec was a cash rich dinosaur and Bluecoat a debt-rich dinosaur with a very savvy board.   And with voracious investment bankers making the rounds, the match is one made in heaven.

Bluecoat has a 20 year old proxy cache product that barely understands modern protocols.   So they went out and bought Perspecsys - I know two customers who gave up after 6 months of trying, and Elastica - sigh, just look at the Bluecoat S-1 for its financials and you will understand.  Bluecoat took out 250M in debt to acquire Elastica. Excellent strategic marketing though,  since Perspecys and Elastica allowed Bluecoat's bankers to check the CASB box.  The cloud, it's the future, let dinosaur wedding bells ring loud!

But wait, there is more.  Bluecoat's has a strong sales team that is adept at selling hardware appliances. Whilst Symantec sells software.  Whatever synergies and cost reductions accrue from shared overhead will be lost in immiscible sales DNA. 





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