Six years ago Intel surprised the world as it paid $7.68 billion to buy security company McAfee. Now the chip giant announced a partnership with private investment firm TPG to spin-out the current Intel Security division as a new, independent company that will adopt the familiar McAfee brandname.
TPG will be the largest shareholder of McAfee with a controlling stake of 51 percent, while Intel retains the other 49 percent. The deal values McAfee at $4.2 billion including debt, Intel gets $3.1 billion in cash and TPG will make a $1.1 billion equity investment to help drive growth.
Despite being profitable McAfee is seen as a failed takeover as it was never a good strategic fit. The division is one of Intel's smallest units and has much lower profit margins than Intel's bread-and-butter. It was bought as a diversification play and Intel hoped it would be able to do security better than stand-alone software vendors but these dreams never materialized. The end result is that since the acquisition, McAfee's revenue essentially remained at almost the same level even though the overall security market posted healthy growth.
Intel Corporation and TPG today announced a definitive agreement under which the two parties will establish a newly formed, jointly-owned, independent cybersecurity company. The new company will be called McAfee following transaction close. TPG will own 51 percent of McAfee and Intel will own 49 percent in a transaction valuing the business at approximately $4.2 billion. TPG is making a $1.1 billion equity investment to help drive growth and enhance focus as a standalone business.
Through this transaction, TPG, a leading global alternative asset firm with demonstrated expertise in growing profitable software companies and carve-out investments, and Intel, a global technology leader that powers the cloud and billions of smart, connected computing devices, will work together to position McAfee as a strong independent company with access to significant financial, operational and technology resources. With the new investment from TPG and continued strategic backing of Intel, the new entity is expected to capitalize on significant global growth opportunities through greater focus and targeted investment.
The new company will be one of the world’s largest pure-play cybersecurity companies. Last year, Intel Security unveiled a new strategy that refocused the business on endpoint and cloud as security control points, as well as actionable threat intelligence, analytics and orchestration. This new strategy allows customers to detect and respond to more threats faster and with fewer resources.
“Security remains important in everything we do at Intel and going forward we will continue to integrate industry-leading security and privacy capabilities in our products from the cloud to billions of smart, connected computing devices,” said Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel. “As we collaborate with TPG to establish McAfee as an independent company, we will also share in the future success of the business and in the market demand for top-flight security solutions, creating long-term value for McAfee’s customers, partners, employees and Intel’s shareholders. Intel will continue our collaboration with McAfee as we offer safe and secure products to our customers.”
"We believe that McAfee will thrive as an independent company. With TPG’s investment, along with continued support from Intel, McAfee will sharpen its focus and become even more agile in its response to today’s rapidly evolving security sector," said Jim Coulter, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of TPG. "TPG is excited to partner with Intel and McAfee management to accelerate growth of the business by enhancing its go-to-market strategy and continuing to grow and strengthen its core product offerings.”
“At TPG, we look to partner with both established and emergent leaders in dynamic and growing markets,” said Bryan Taylor, Partner at TPG. “We have long identified the cybersecurity sector, which has experienced strong growth due to the increasing volume and severity of cyberattacks, as one of the most important areas in technology. Given McAfee’s leading global market position, loyal customer base, and trusted technology, we see a compelling opportunity to invest in a highly-strategic platform that is growing consistently and addressing significant and evolving market demand.”
Positioning the New Company for Future Growth
Chris Young will be appointed CEO of the new company upon closing of the transaction. Today he published an open letter to Intel Security’s stakeholders outlining benefits of the transaction and new company.
“As a standalone company supported by these two partners, we will be in an even greater position of strength, committed to being the best provider the cybersecurity industry has ever seen,” Young said. “We will continue to focus on solving the unique demands of customers in the dynamic cybersecurity marketplace, drive innovation that anticipates future market needs, and continue to grow through our strategic priorities.”
Currently, Intel Security’s comprehensive software platform protects more than a quarter of a billion endpoints, secures the footprint for nearly two-thirds of the world’s 2,000 largest companies, detects more than 400,000 new threats each day, and represents more than 7,500 strong of the industry’s most talented professionals. The business has demonstrated strong momentum. Through the first half of this year, Intel Security Group revenue grew 11 percent to $1.1 billion, while operating income grew 391 percent to $182 million. Intel Security also increased total bookings 7 percent per year on a constant currency basis from 2013 to 2015.1
Terms of the Transaction, Financing and Timeline
Under the terms of the agreement, TPG will own 51 percent of a newly-formed cybersecurity company in a multi-step transaction valuing Intel Security at approximately $4.2 billion, based on an equity value of approximately $2.2 billion plus McAfee net debt of approximately $2 billion. The debt initially will be financed by Intel until completion of audited financial statements for McAfee (expected within three to five months of close). The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017, subject to certain regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.