Symantec in talks to sell Veritas storage unit to Carlyle: Reuters

(Reuters) — Software security company Symantec Corp (SYMC.O) is in talks to sell its Veritas data storage business to private equity firm Carlyle Group LP (CG.O), a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The exact status of the talks could not be learned. Bloomberg News reported earlier that Symantec was nearing a deal to sell Veritas to Carlyle for between $7 billion and $8 billion, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The Reuters source asked not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential. Symantec did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while Carlyle declined to comment.

Symantec shares rose 2.64 percent in after-hours trading, after closing up 0.5 percent, at $22.79, in regular trade on the Nasdaq.

Symantec has been seeking buyers for Veritas for several months but interest from potential buyers had been limited because of a tax burden associated with splitting the company.

Symantec had been planning separate its business focused on corporate and consumer security software, which had $4.2 billion in revenue last year, from Veritas, which has about $2.5 billion in revenue. It announced the tax-free spinoff last October.

Investor pressure has been building on legacy technology companies such as Symantec to become more agile and capitalize on faster-growing businesses, whether it’s through corporate breakups or divestitures.

In addition to Symantec, Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) and eBay Inc (EBAY.O) have announced major breakups and spinoffs, and more could be on the way. Activist investor Elliott Management has been pressuring EMC Corp (EMC.N) to sell its stake in VMWare (VMW.N) and has urged Citrix Systems (CTXS.O) to create more shareholder value and sell some of its businesses.

(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Additional reporitng by Liana B. Baker; Editing by Leslie Adler)