Lehi company swallows competitor in $1B deal

Lehi company swallows competitor in $1B deal

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SALT LAKE CITY — Lehi-based DigiCert, a company that issues security certificates to websites engaged in e-business, announced it will acquire the web certificate division of cybersecurity company Symantec for $950 million in cash and a 30 percent stake in DigiCert on completion of the transaction.

The acquisition would likely quadruple the current DigiCert staff in Utah as it plans to acquire Symantec's talent pool along with its technology and service business, according to spokesman Jeff Chandler. Chandler also noted the company is planning on keeping its headquarters in Lehi.

In a statement, DigiCert CEO John Merrill said the acquisition — announced Wednesday — would help cement his company's position as a leader in the web security sector.

“We look forward to building a great security company and supporting all of Symantec’s and DigiCert’s customers well into the future," said Merrill. "We have assembled the best team in the industry to help us deliver even better security solutions and service to our customers.

“DigiCert is committed to providing the market with innovative products, the highest level of trust, and experienced leadership in the SSL and PKI community. We are excited about the opportunities ahead, and will work toward a smooth transition for customers and employees of Symantec’s Website Security business.”

Symantec, which is known for its Norton anti-virus software, has been engaged in a monthslong public battle with Google over questions the search engine giant raised about the authenticity of web security certificates issued by Symantec when it was revealed the company mis-issued 30,000 HTTPS certificates. Google had threatened at one point to cease recognizing all Symantec-issued certificates before the two companies worked out a deal that was due to go into effect in December.

In addition to bringing its Google squabble to an end, the move allows Symantec to focus on other cybersecurity endeavors, according to a statement issued by company CEO Greg Clark.

“Transitioning our Website Security and related PKI solutions to DigiCert allows us to sharpen our enterprise focus on delivering unparalleled protection for the cloud generation through Symantec’s Integrated Cyber Defense Platform," said Clark. "As our recently announced deals with Fireglass and Skycure demonstrate, we are accelerating the pace of innovation we bring to market through a combination of acquisitions as well as development from the ground up."

Digicert was founded in 2003 by Ken Bretschneider, who served as chairman and CEO until 2012. Bretschneider would go on to found People Water, LINK and is the co-founder of The Void, a Lindon-based virtual reality playspace company.

DigiCert was acquired by Chicago private equity firm Thoma Bravo in 2015. Email: araymond@deseretnews.com Twitter: DNTechHive

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