May 19, 2011 / 8:56 PM / 8 years ago

Symantec buys data experts Clearwell for $390 million

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Symantec Corp (SYMC.O) will buy privately held database specialist Clearwell Systems for $390 million, as the world’s No. 5 software maker shores up its storage and cloud computing capability.

The agreement to buy Clearwell, which helps governments and corporations archive, analyze and process data, came after CEO Enrique Salem told the Reuters Global Technology Summit he will pursue a number of smaller, “tuck-in” acquisitions to boost its technology portfolio.

Symantec, which spent $2 billion last year on acquisitions including the $1.28 billion takeover of VeriSign Inc, has come under pressure to split up or hive off its storage division, but Salem told Reuters he had no intention of doing so.

Symantec said in a Thursday statement it hoped to close the deal by the end of September.

Cloud computing refers to using offsite computers to store and manage data and access applications. Clearwell’s expertise is in “electronic discovery” or the categorizing and processing of data — a market Gartner estimates at $1.7 billion by 2014.

“As information continues to grow at unprecedented rates, the biggest challenge for customers is to protect, manage and backup this information as well as have the ability to categorize and discover it efficiently,” said Deepak Mohan, Symantec’s senior vice president for Information Management.

Symantec’s stock languished in 2010 while the tech-laden Nasdaq rallied, prompting shareholders to call for the company to break up.

Symantec shares held steady around $19.57 in after-hours trade following announcement of the purchase.

Reporting by Edwin Chan, editing by Bernard Orr, Gary Hill

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