It is not normal practice for competitors in a niche market to pounce on each other in this way, but Mimecast has been on the attack since 22 August. The Broadcom buy became public knowledge a fortnight before that.
With the entry of two private equity firms, Permira and Advent International, into the picture on 8 September — the duo have offered a takeover for the whole of Symantec at US$26 or US$27 per share — it is not clear whether this bid will get precedence and the enterprise section will then be sold to Broadcom, or whether the Broadcom purchase will go ahead first.
"Broadcom’s pending US$10.7 billion acquisition of Symantec’s enterprise security business doesn’t bode well for Symantec enterprise customers, particularly because Broadcom plans to scale back Symantec R&D and Support, focussing efforts on what they’re calling the 'highest ROI' products, endpoint security, Web security and DLP," Mimecast's Joel Silverstein, senior manager of content strategy, wrote.
"This will likely lead to reduced R&D and Support for 'lowest ROI' products, like network security, email security and cloud application security."
Mimecast said on Tuesday that it would be offering limited edition packaging and migration services for MessageLabs customers.
"As part of the limited-edition packaging services, Mimecast is offering free email security risk assessments, so organisations can see first-hand limitations of their incumbent email security system, a company statement said.
"Mimecast customers can also benefit from a broader portfolio that is engineered to include superior threat detection, email archiving, mailbox continuity and web security all on a single cloud platform."
Symantec was reported to be in a tight corner in May, with president and chief executive Greg Clark suddenly walking out, becoming the fifth top executive to quit in the six months prior to that.
The enterprise security firm is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission over accounting irregularities and also faces a lawsuit from shareholder James Felix, who claims its top executives massaged financial figures.
Mimecast's vice-president of global customer success Neil Senior said: "Mimecast has already easily transitioned more than 3800 organisations from the Symantec on-premises and cloud-based email security systems.
“We’re ready to talk to customers who are concerned about the impact of their email security provider announcing [more than] US$1 billion cuts in expenses including research and development, sales and support. Our goal is to provide our Legendary Customer Success approach from initial migration to completed implementation.”