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McAfee to be sold for more than $14 billion

written by Bella Palmer

Shares of the company were down more than 3% at $25.36 in premarket trading, slightly below the offer price

Security software company McAfee is going private via a buyout from an investor group in a deal valued at more than $14 billion, the company announced Monday. Bloomberg first reported last week that a likely deal was imminent.

The deal comes as a pandemic-driven shift to remote working and a rise in cyber attacks have spurred demand for antivirus and digital security software.

As part of the transaction, the investor group will acquire all outstanding shares of McAfee common stock for $26 per share in an all-cash deal that values McAfee at around $12 billion on an equity basis.

The purchase price represents a premium of 22.6% over McAfee's closing share price of $21.21 on Nov. 4, the last trading day before the Wall Street Journal reported about the deal talks.

Shares of the company, which made its market debut last year, were down more than 3% at $25.36 in premarket trading, slightly below the offer price.

McAfee was founded in 1987 by John McAfee and became known for its computer antivirus software. The founder, McAfee, left the company in 1994, and the company was acquired by Intel in 2010 for $7.68 billion. In 2014, Intel announced it was phasing out the McAfee brand name for the security software and rebranding it as Intel Security.

Last October, the company returned to the public stock market. McAfee said in the announcement that it will continue as a “pure-play consumer cybersecurity” company after selling its Enterprise business to private equity firm Symphony Technology Group for $4 billion in July.

The company said the deal announced Monday to sell to the investor group, which includes Advent International Corp., Permira Advisers, and Crosspoint Capital Partners, is expected to close in the first half of 2022.


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