Security giant McAfee has been purchased by a group of private investors for $14 billion dollars.
The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2022, at which point shareholders will receive a cash sum for their stock.
Anti-virus software like McAfee can protect against the rising number of cyber attacks on individuals and businesses, notably the threat of ransomware, which many high profile companies have fallen victim to.
Details of the McAfee Deal
The purchase was announced on the 8th of November, and the purchases are a group are an investment group made up of several companies, namely Advent International Corporation, Permira Advisers LLC, Crosspoint Capital Partners, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, GIC Private Limited, and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
The purchase price of $14 billion is based on the closing share price of $21.21 on November the 4th. McAfee has informed stockholders that they will receive $26 in cash for each share they own, with the deal finalising in the first half of 2022.
Among the named investors are companies which have experience in McAfee's industry. Permira has a record of investing in digital consumer and enterprise markets, while Crosspoint Capital Partners states that it focuses on cybersecurity, privacy and infrastructure software markets.
“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.” – Jon Winkelried, CEO of TPG and Chair of the McAfee Board
McAfee's Enterprise business was sold to private equity firm Symphony Technology Group in March of this year for $4 billion.
What Does the McAfee Deal Mean for Users?
In the short term, very little is going to change for users of McAfee's products. The deal won't be confirmed until 2022, and even beyond this, investors are likely to want to keep the parts of the business that work on an even keel and not disrupt them.
There's no doubt that the pandemic has been a challenging time from a security perspective, with the risk of ransomware and viruses increasing significantly as companies have quickly had to adjust to a workforce scattered across numerous locations. It's likely one of the factors that made the purchase of McAfee, which specializes in threat mitigation, so compelling.
Greg Clark, Managing Partner at Crosspoint Central, one of the buyers, said:
“The risks that consumers face from all aspects of their digital lives is immense, and these risks are unprecedented and rapidly increasing. Consumers buy from brands they trust, and with the globally recognized brand of McAfee, we see the long term opportunity to deliver products and services to address these risks in all aspects of their digital presence.”
With the move to a more hybrid workforce post pandemic, there are going to be a lot more opportunities to provide security solutions, and we may see that from McAfee's new owners in the future, potentially in the form of new products and services.
Choosing the Right Anti-Virus Software
It's been a worrying year of headlines about hacks, ransomware and spyware, and with huge corporations and government bodies falling victim to cybercrime. With the average cost of a data breach amounting to $8.64 million dollars in 2020, let alone the implications of losing sensitive company and customer data, companies are understandably anxious.
Anti-virus software is one of the key tools in a companies arsenal for tackling the threat of cybercrime, able to spot and isolate viruses, as well as ransomware. It's not a complete solution – ransomware can be delivered to devices and systems via multiple entry points, but having anti-virus software installed will mitigate the danger massively, and help users spot potential malicious threats early on. Once ransomware has infected a system, it's already too late. It's also highly important to keep devices and platforms up to date.
If you're looking for a security solution, check out our guide to the best anti-virus software for business.