Security software firm McAfee acquired by investor consortium for over $14 billion

Security software firm McAfee acquired by investor consortium for over $14 billion

The latest acquisition this year came in the form of security software company McAfee, which is being acquired by an investor consortium led by US private equity firm Advent International in an all-cash deal worth over $14 billion.

The consortium also includes Permira Advisers, Crosspoint Capital Partners, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, GIC Pvt Ltd., and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2022.

The cybersecurity software company has been in and out of the public market ever since its inception in 1987. The first company to bring a commercial antivirus to the market, the company had been acquired by Intel for $7.68 billion.

Last October, McAfee returned to the public stock market and according to its founder and cybersecurity entrepreneur John McAffe, the company would continue as a “pure-play consumer cybersecurity” company after it sold its Enterprise business to private equity firm Symphony Technology Group for $4 billion in July.

Now, it seems that the company has once again become private. The consortium will pay $26 per share in cash, representing a premium of 22.6% over McAfee’s closing share price of $21.21.

“This transaction is a testament to McAfee’s market-leading online protection solutions, our talented employees, and outstanding customers and partners,” said McAfee president and CEO Peter Leav, adding, “We want to thank our employees for their continued hard work and commitment to McAfee. We are thrilled to be partnering with premier firms who truly understand the cybersecurity landscape and have a proven track record of success.”

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The focus on cybersecurity has increased in recent times as hacks, cyber attacks, and ransomware have seen a rise. McAfee, which remains a pioneer in developing antivirus software, has been steadily growing and strengthening its main cybersecurity software business. It clocked net revenue of $491 million and net income of $2, 390 million in Q3 2021, an increase of 24% year-over-year, as well as 6, 40, 000 new subscribers.

“McAfee is one of the most trusted brands in the essential business of consumer digital protection,” said Bryan Taylor, Head of Advent’s Technology Investment Team and a Managing Partner in Palo Alto. “As consumers face new and complex cyber risks, we see tremendous opportunity to build on McAfee’s differentiated technology platform to continue delivering innovative solutions that can protect all facets of the digital lives of people around the world. We look forward to working alongside our investment partners and the talented McAfee team to continue setting the bar for consumer digital protection.”