GIC in Carlyle-led consortium to buy Veritas for $11b

A consortium led by Carlyle Group, including sovereign wealth fund GIC, is buying information management service provider Veritas for US$8 billion (S$11 billion).

The deal is the largest private-equity takeover of a technology company this year. GIC's share was not disclosed but is understood to be significantly smaller than that of Carlyle's. The deal is expected to be finalised by the end of this year.

Mr Bill Coleman, the founder of software company BEA Systems, will become chief executive officer, and Mr Bill Krause, a Carlyle operating executive who previously was president and chief executive of 3Com, will be chairman.

"Our mission is to maintain our industry leadership position while accelerating growth by re-energising our product platform and by capitalising on emerging and next-generation technology as the data centre evolves," Mr Coleman said in a release yesterday.

GIC, which has also invested with Carlyle in British firm RAC, was upbeat about the new deal.

"Veritas has a proven track record of success, and we look forward to working with management and Carlyle to help it achieve its full potential," GIC managing directors Suzi Kwon Cohen and Eric Wilmes said in a press release yesterday. "Partnering with Carlyle on this investment is a natural evolution in our long-standing relationship."

GIC is estimated to be the world's sixth-biggest sovereign wealth fund with an estimated US$315 billion of assets under management, according to the website of the London-based Institutional Investor's Sovereign Wealth Centre.

Symantec, the maker of Norton antivirus, bought Veritas - seen as a "cash cow" - in 2005 for US$13.5 billion. But sluggish demand for storage and data management software has diminished its value.

Symantec itself has been struggling with weak sales and had been planning to separate its consumer and corporate security software from Veritas since last year.

"This transaction strengthens our financial foundation, paving the way for Symantec to grow its security business and increase its lead as the world's largest cyber security company, Symantec president and chief executive Michael A. Brown said in a release.

The agreement delivers an attractive and certain value for the Veritas business and "is in the best interests of all stakeholders", he added yesterday.

More than 86 per cent of Fortune 500 companies use the products and services of Veritas, which was founded in 1983 as a provider of storage and server management software solutions. It enables customers to protect and manage critical information technology infrastructure and applications.

Asset management group Carlyle handles US$193 billion investing across six continents in segments like corporate private equity, real assets, global market strategies and investment solutions.

"Veritas is a market innovator with global scale, an iconic brand, and significant growth potential," Carlyle managing director Patrick McCarter said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2015, with the headline 'GIC in Carlyle-led consortium to buy Veritas for $11b'. Print Edition | Subscribe