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McAfee could be acquired in $15bn deal

McAfee could be acquired in $15bn deal

Big channel security vendor McAfee is reportedly in advanced talks to go private in a potential deal worth $15 billion, including debt.

According to Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal, the bid is being led by private equity firm Advent International, and the share price in McAfee was up 20% on close of market play last Friday evening.

Both McAfee and Advent have not so far commented on any deal in the offing.

McAfee only returned to the public market through an IPO in October 2020. The company has total debt of around $4 billion. After the share surge, the firm's market value is $10.9 billion, hence the estimated deal value of $15 billion.

Intel acquired McAfee in 2010 for $7.7 billion, and then sold a 51% stake to private equity firm TPG Capital in 2016 for $4.2 billion. In 2017, TPG sold part of its stake to private equity company Thoma Bravo.

McAfee used around $740m of the 2020 IPO proceeds to reduce debt. This summer, the firm sold the enterprise services part of the business to Symphony Technology Group in a $4 billion deal.

If a deal is made, it would follow other big cyber security deals, including Thoma Bravo’s $12.3 billion purchase of Proofpoint, and Broadcom’s $10.7 billion acquisition of Symantec’s enterprise business.

Advent acquired IoT security services vendor Forescout last year.