California-based hardware company Broadcom ($AVGO) is ramping up plans to acquire cybersecurity firm Symantec ($SYMC) in a deal that would represent one of the biggest technology M&A transactions of 2019, according to a Bloomberg report.
While nothing has yet been announced, Symantec is certainly behaving like a company that's on the verge of an M&A deal, judging by our first chart.
In the last six weeks, Symantec job postings dropped like a rock - nearly 50% - from 478 in late May to 241, recently. It's far from the first time we've seen this - it's a common indicator of forthcoming M&A when a company, the target in particular, begins reducing open job postings in anticipation of potential strategy shifts under the direction of new leadership.
Symantec could be worth more than $15 billion in a big M&A deal and it's particularly common among Fortune 500 companies to see this trend - they are often the organizations with the most jobs posted online. Allergan ($AGN) - which agreed recently to a $63 billion tie-up with Abbvie ($ABBV) - is another example of the trend showing up in the very largest M&A deals. Our data shows that, on a similar timeframe to Symantec's deal deliberations, Allergan reduced job openings from 483 to 359, a reduction of 25%.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.