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Symantec Corp. on Thursday announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Clearwell Systems, recognized player in the eDiscovery market. The acquisition of Clearwell will bring together the eDiscovery, archiving and backup offerings to provide customers one of the most comprehensive information management solutions available.

Under the terms of the agreement, Symantec will acquire Clearwell for a purchase price of approximately $390 million, net of Clearwell’s existing cash balance of approximately $20 million. The agreement is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, and is expected to close in the September quarter.

Clearwell's eDiscovery solution complements and enhances Symantec’s Enterprise Vault eDiscovery capabilities to create a more complete end-to-end eDiscovery solution. The existing integration of Enterprise Vault with the Clearwell eDiscovery Platform positions Symantec to quickly help IT and legal users streamline and reduce the cost, time and risk of eDiscovery across the most relevant information sources including email, desktops, file servers, backups and the cloud.

This acquisition will expand Symantec’s addressable market opportunity and will position the company as a leader in the fast-growing eDiscovery software market, which, according to Gartner, is growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 14 percent and is estimated to reach $1.7 billion by 20141. In addition, this acquisition is expected to provide future cross-sell and product integration synergies across Symantec backup and security, by leveraging Symantec NetBackup, Data Loss Prevention and Data Insight.

"Archiving and eDiscovery are two critical elements of information governance,” said Aaref Hilaly, president and chief executive officer, Clearwell Systems. “By joining forces and combining the industry’s leading archiving solution with the industry’s leading eDiscovery solution, we will be uniquely positioned to deliver a seamless, integrated information governance workflow, benefitting both Symantec and Clearwell customers.”

Organizations are being required to adopt more formal information governance processes to help reduce the costs and risks associated with legal discovery. According to Gartner, through 2012, companies without an information governance strategy and technology for content archiving solutions, will spend a third more on eDiscovery than those with content archiving solutions.2 Together Symantec and Clearwell are positioned to offer customers the ability to both proactively and reactively manage and discover their information with increased speed, efficiency and scale, both on-premise and in the cloud, while at the same time helping customers reduce costs and risks.

Symantec expects this transaction to be one-and-a-half cents dilutive to non-GAAP earnings per share in fiscal year 2012. The transaction is expected to be accretive starting in fiscal year 2013.

Tags: Symantec, Clearwell

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