Broadcom’s Bid for Symantec Is Said to Have Stalled

Broadcom’s effort to buy Symantec was suspended in recent days, people briefed on the matter said on Monday, after the two companies disagreed on a takeover price late in the negotiations.

The decision puts on ice — at least for now — efforts to create one of the biggest, and most unusual, marriages in technology this year. Broadcom is one of the biggest makers of semiconductors, while Symantec is a prominent security software provider.

The suspension means that Broadcom will have failed to strike two high-profile deals over the past 18 months. Last March, the chip maker was forced to call off a $117 billion takeover bid for Qualcomm, a maker of wireless chips. That deal foundered after President Trump blocked the effort on national security grounds, citing how the acquisition could hurt America’s competitiveness in the race to develop 5G wireless network technologies.

The latest decision came late in the talks, as Broadcom was conducting due diligence on Symantec, these people said. The companies had aimed to announce a deal on Tuesday, one of the people said.

It is not clear what Broadcom discovered. The company lowered its takeover bid for Symantec from $28.25 a share, which valued the software maker at about $18 billion, by more than $1 a share, that person added. Symantec balked at the move, the person said. Whether the talks resume depends on whether the companies can reach an accord on price.

The collapse of discussions confused some on Wall Street. Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities wrote in a research note to clients on Monday that Symantec’s apparent recalcitrance was a “head-scratcher,” given that its business has struggled over the past few years.

Representatives for Broadcom and Symantec did not respond to requests for comments.

Symantec’s shares tumbled more than 10 percent on Monday, to $22.84, after CNBC reported that the talks had been halted. Shares in Broadcom rose by about 1 percent, to $288.34.