In a surprising move, Intel yesterday announced it has acquired anti-virus firm McAfee for $7.68 billion. The chip giant claims it made this purchase to put security on par with its strategic focus in areas such as energy efficiency and Internet connectivity. It's the biggest takeover in Intel's history, until now the company's largest acquisition was Level One Communications for $2.14 billion at the height of the dot com bubble in 1999.
Intel Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire McAfee, Inc., through the purchase of all of the company’s common stock at $48 per share in cash, for approximately $7.68 billion. Both boards of directors have unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close after McAfee shareholder approval, regulatory clearances and other customary conditions specified in the agreement.
The acquisition reflects that security is now a fundamental component of online computing. Today’s security approach does not fully address the billions of new Internet-ready devices connecting, including mobile and wireless devices, TVs, cars, medical devices and ATM machines as well as the accompanying surge in cyber threats. Providing protection to a diverse online world requires a fundamentally new approach involving software, hardware and services.
Inside Intel, the company has elevated the priority of security to be on par with its strategic focus areas in energy-efficient performance and Internet connectivity.
McAfee, which has enjoyed double-digit, year-over-year growth and nearly 80 percent gross margins last year, will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intel, reporting into Intel’s Software and Services Group. The group is managed by Renée James, Intel senior vice president, and general manager of the group.
“With the rapid expansion of growth across a vast array of Internet-connected devices, more and more of the elements of our lives have moved online,” said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. “In the past, energy-efficient performance and connectivity have defined computing requirements. Looking forward, security will join those as a third pillar of what people demand from all computing experiences.
“The addition of McAfee products and technologies into the Intel computing portfolio brings us incredibly talented people with a track record of delivering security innovations, products and services that the industry and consumers trust to make connecting to the Internet safer and more secure,” Otellini added.
“Hardware-enhanced security will lead to breakthroughs in effectively countering the increasingly sophisticated threats of today and tomorrow,” said James. “This acquisition is consistent with our software and services strategy to deliver an outstanding computing experience in fast-growing business areas, especially around the move to wireless mobility.”
“McAfee is the next step in this strategy, and the right security partner for us,” she added. “Our current work together has impressive prospects, and we look forward to introducing a product from our strategic partnership next year.”
“The cyber threat landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years, with millions of new threats appearing every month,” said Dave DeWalt, president and CEO of McAfee. “We believe this acquisition will result in our ability to deliver a safer, more secure and trusted Internet-enabled device experience.”