McAfee thinks about ‘combination’ with NortonLifeLock

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McAfee is considering a merger or partnership of some kind with NortonLifeLock, its direct competitor in the consumer antivirus software market, writes the Wall Street Journal.

NortonLifeLock was created in November, after Broadcom took over Symantec’s enterprise branch, including the brand name. The remaining consumer department then had to live under a new name.

The new name merges the company’s two main consumer products, Norton AntiVirus and LifeLock, the latter of which protects against identity theft. According to the company, the products are used by nearly 50 million consumers worldwide.

Merger of consumer components

McAfee would consider, among other things, a “combination” of its own consumer business with NortonLifeLock. What that means exactly remains unclear.

It should be at least until the first quarter of next year before the proposal is finalised, writes the Wall Street Journal, as six of McAfee’s top executives were due to leave after December 19.

In addition to McAfee, venture capital firms Permira and Advent International are also interested in NortonLifeLock, which is estimated to be worth 16 billion dollars. The company will be “in transition” for at least the next twelve months, said CFO Vincent Pilette in conversation with Silicon Angle last month.

Rumour has it that McAfee was preparing for an IPO in the summer of this year. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, these plans have been shelved due to the disappointing results of recent IPOs of other technology companies.

Acquisition by Broadcom

The enterprise department of Symantec has been in the hands of Broadcom since August this year. The company purchased the division for $10.7 billion, including the brand name. The business unit generated $2.3 billion in sales in 2018, half of Symantec’s total sales.