Symantec warns investors away from TRC offer

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) ? Computer security and systems management provider Symantec Corp. said Friday its shareholders should reject an unsolicited attempt to acquire 5 million shares, or about 0.7 percent, of its outstanding stock.

Symantec said TRC Capital Corp. has attempted a “mini-tender” offer of $16.20 per share, about 4.87 percent below the closing price on Nov. 3, the day before the offer began.

Its shares rose 42 cents, or 2.5 percent, to close at $17.12 on Friday. They’re up 2.2 percent year-to-date and have traded as high as $20.50 in the past 52 weeks.

TRC Capital, a Canadian company, has made numerous offers for major companies in recent years, often at a discount. Companies that have warned shareholders away from TRC offers in recent months include cigarette maker Altria Group Inc., drug maker Gilead Sciences Inc., defense contractor Raytheon Co., restaurant food seller Sysco Corp., and General Electric Co.

A mini-tender offer is an offer from an investor to buy less than 5 percent of a company’s outstanding shares, which doesn’t trigger the same rules and shareholder protections that a bigger offer would.

Some investors make mini-tender offers at below-market prices, hoping shareholders won’t check the current market price, according to the SEC.

Mountain View-based Symantec shareholders who have already tendered their shares may withdraw at any time prior to Dec. 6, the expiration date on TRC’s offer documents, which also detail procedures for withdrawal.