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October 15, 1998

SYMANTEC BUYS QUARTERDECK FOR $65M

By CBR Staff Writer

Utilities software house Symantec Corp from Cupertino, California has announced a deal to acquire Quarterdeck Corp, the shrinking PC helpware outfit, for $65m in cash and assumed debt. The news came alongside Symantec’s second quarter results which showed net profits down 67% at $6.8m on revenues up just 0.8% at $140m. Symantec’s $0.52 per share cash offer gives its stockholders a 19% premium over Thursday’s closing price, and they are unlikely to reject the deal as it will save the troubled company from the embarrassment of its imminent de-listing. Quarterdeck’s revenues have fallen by half in the last 12 months to just $57m, and the company recently lost its CEO, Curt Hessler, who volunteered to further his own cost cutting drive by stepping down. However, Enrique Salem, vice president of Symantec’s Security and Assistance business unit, says that Quarterdeck still has a great deal of software talent on its payroll, along with two good products, namely CleanSweep, its hard drive clean up utility, and Procomm its network access and telecommuting software. Both are highly complementary to Symantec’s business, says Salem, and both could be branded under the Norton name and sold successfully through Symantec’s existing network. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of November.

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