Symantec to spin off Java operation

Deal looks to IPO cash-in

Symantec is to form a spin-off company within the next three to nine months to offer its Internet applications and utilities. In addition to maintaining development of Symantec's Java and Web page layout tools, the new operation willl develop e-commerce technology and tools to help businesses integrate their existing systems with the Web. "Creating an independent company will put the spotlight on our expertise and capability as an Internet company," said CEO John Thompson. Possibly, but it will also provide an opportunity for a Net-related IPO, an option that can't have failed to pass Symantec by. Symantec claims its Java tools already command 56 per cent of the Java market, so the new company -- whatever it's called; there's no official name yet -- is certain to attract investor interest. Initially, however, the company will be wholly owned by Symantec, though the utilities specialist did suggest it's keen to talk to possible investors. ®

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