Chip giant Intel has announced it is to buy security provider McAfee. The deal, which has been agreed by both boards of directors, is valued at $7.68bn.
The acquisition, announced on Thursday, will see Intel pay $48 (£31) in cash for each McAfee share — more than 60 percent above its share price at close of market on Wednesday. The security company will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the processor giant under the deal, which is subject to shareholder approval.
Intel said in a statement that the move "elevates focus on security on par with energy-efficient performance and connectivity. The acquisition augments Intel's mobile wireless strategy [...] Providing protection to a diverse online worlds requires a fundamentally new approach involving hardware, software and services".
Silicon Valley-based McAfee, founded in 1987, sells antivirus, anti-spyware and other services and products to protect against online threats for customers ranging from large government agencies to home users. It has seen its annual revenue grow from $1.14bn in 2006 go $1.9bn in 2009, and it holds $902m in cash and securities, according to McAfee figures.
"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 Intel chief executive Paul Otellini in a statement. "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."
Neither Intel nor McAfee was available to comment at the time of writing.