Symantec-Veritas merger: shareholders vote in June

Symantec and Veritas shareholders will get their chance this month to vote on the proposed merger between the two companies.

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By  Peter Branton Published  June 5, 2005

Symantec and Veritas shareholders will get their chance this month to vote on the proposed merger between the two companies. June 24 has been set as the date for both sets of shareholders to vote on the merger, with the deal expected to be completed by the end of June or the beginning of July. This could end up being somewhat later than the companies were initially expecting, but they had to wait for final clearance from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the regulatory body that governs such transactions. Publicly, the end of June had been set for as the deadline to close the deal, but insiders at the companies were hoping for an earlier date. In April, IT Weekly spoke to Peter Parker, the current vice president of sales in emerging territories at Veritas, who will be responsible for the region at the combined company. He said then that May 27 had been pencilled in as the date for the combined company to begin operations, by which time it was expected to have gained shareholder approval (see IT Weekly 16-22 April 2005). In a joint statement to shareholders, the two companies said that they were still hoping to close the merger on or before June 30, but that they ‘believe there may be some administrative benefits to completing the merger at the beginning of Symantec’s second quarter of fiscal 2006’ which would take it in to July. “We never set a confirmed date, at the end of the day it is a legal process that is out of our hands,” said a spokesperson for Symantec in the region. While Veritas and Symantec both claim the deal makes perfect sense, that argument has so far failed to win over financial analysts, with the value of the deal falling from the initial US$13.5bn when it was first announced last December to around US$10.4bn last month. The fall in value is based on a decline in Symantec’s share price since it was announced. At Veritas Vision in the US in April, Gary Bloom, chief executive of Veritas, defended the deal. “This is the convergence around information security and availability,” he told delegates in his keynote. “Our strategy is to drive performance, availability, automation and security of your information technology environment,” he added. Veritas held its Middle East version of Vision last month, with over 500 delegates attending the event, held in Dubai. With merger talk somewhat off the agenda, the company focused heavily on backup and archiving strategies at the event, unveiling new versions of its NetBackup and Enterprise Vault products. Veritas NetBackup 6.0 can manage and recover data and systems across a range of platforms, including Unix, Windows and Linux. Enterprise Vault 6.0, an e-mail and content archiving solution, includes support for Lotus Notes and Domino. “Among the fastest growing areas within the Middle East’s information storage sector are software solutions that enable rapid data recovery from a diverse range of hardware systems and e-mail archiving solutions which help companies comply with record retention regulations,” said Heini Booysen, program manager with analyst group IDC.

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