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Symantec's APM Leaves Quietly

When Veritas bought Precise Software Solutions for $609 million ($400 million of that in cash) in June 2003, execs felt the addition of the Israeli firm's application performance management (APM) software would speed up data access for Veritas's storage tools.

That apparently didn't pan out as planned. Five years later, as Symantec continues to face questions about the value gleaned from its $13.5 billion acquisition of Veritas in 2005, Symantec has decided to sell the Precise Software assets to San Francisco private equity firm Vector Capital.

Symantec refuses to divulge any financial details of the pending transaction, which is expected to close by the end of this calendar quarter. Execs also wouldn't specify how much revenue Symantec gleaned from APM products. Vector Capital reportedly will refinance Precise Software Solutions as a standalone company. Again, estimates on the level of Vector's spending aren't being released.

Symantec execs approached interviews yesterday with self-congratulations. "We've had a very positive response from various analysts," said Jeff Reed, Symantec's VP of strategic operations. Symantec had come to view APM products as a distraction to the company's server and storage management efforts. Further, the sale to Vector precluded any chance that a competitor might grab the Precise Software assets -- at least for awhile.

Symantec execs refused to comment on whether Vector has any contractual arrangement to retain ownership of Precise for a specified timeframe.

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