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McAfee bought for $14 billion

Private Equity consortium swoops

Cybersecurity vendor McAfee has accepted a $14 billion offer from a consortium of private equity firms. The buyout comes just 13 months after McAfee went public. The deal, announced today (November 8) is the latest step in a complex ownership journey for the company -- which was founded in 1987, went public before being acquired by Intel in 2011, saw TPG buy a 51% stake in 2016 and then carve it out from Intel's core operations in 2017 (when Thoma Bravo took a minority stake), and then floated again in October 2020.

The new buyers include Advent International, Permira Advisers, Crosspoint Capital, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, GIC Private, and a unit of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Under the terms of the deal, the investors will buy all outstanding shares of McAfee common stock for $26/share in an all-cash transaction valued at $14 billion "on an enterprise value basis after giving effect to repayment of McAfee debt."

McAfee has over 19 million consumer users. It reported Q2 revenues of $467 million, up 22%, on August 10, 2021 -- a quarter that also saw it sell its Enterprise Business for $4 billion in cash to Symphony Technology Group, add 556,000 net new users, and sign a multi-year extended agreement with Samsung to add its software to Samsung devices.

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Brian Ruder, Co-Head of Technology at Permira, said: "McAfee boasts an enviable brand, extensive partner ecosystem, loyal customer base and a rigorous commitment to product development."

Jon Winkelried, Chief Executive Officer of TPG and Chair of the McAfee Board, said in a canned statement: “Today’s announcement signals continued growth and opportunity for McAfee. "Over the last four years, the company has expanded its product portfolio, enhanced its go-to-market strategy, and pursued strategic M&A, including the divestiture of its enterprise business. We’re proud that today McAfee is a leading consumer cybersecurity franchise, protecting the digital lives of 20 million subscribers across the globe.”

The investor group said they will "provide McAfee with both financial and operational resources to further enhance its consumer offering and capture the rapid growth in consumer demand for digital protection services" saying its "strong brand awareness, diversified distribution model and customer-centric approach has made it a clear leader in the rapidly evolving consumer online protection space" and that it will "support McAfee as it continues to broaden its differentiated online protection solutions and drive long-term value through market expansion"

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2022