Symantec makes popular antivirus software Norton
Symantec makes popular antivirus software NortonSymantec

Cyber security firm Symantec is in talks to sell its Veritas data storage business to private equity firm Carlyle Group, according to media reports.

Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the matter, earlier reported that the parties were nearing a deal that values the data-storage business at $7bn (£4.5bn, €6.4bn) to $8bn.

The news agency added that the parties were still negotiating the terms, and talks could fail.

Reuters separately reported on the news, citing a person familiar with the matter. The parties were not available for comment at the time of the report.

Symantec has been trying to sell Veritas, which it bought in 2005 for more than $13bn, due to low revenue growth of the business.

A person with knowledge of the process told Bloomberg that potential strategic buyers walked out as "it became clearer that a private equity buyer could better afford Symantec's price while stomaching the months or years of work needed to improve the company's results".

Amid pressures in the data-storage sector, Veritas's business recorded revenues of $2.56bn for the fiscal year ended on 3 April, up 2% on year, while operating income declined by 15% to $486m.

Symantec, which has a market capitalisation of $15bn, earlier announced its plans to separate its security and storage businesses. The company said it would spin off the storage business as a separately-traded company, if it could not find a buyer for the unit.