Intel to buy McAfee for $7.68bn

Intel to buy McAfee for $7.68bn

Summary: The chipmaker has bought the anti-malware outfit in unexpected move into security software, saying the partnership will create breakthroughs in wireless mobility

TOPICS: Tech Industry

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.

Topic: Tech Industry

Rupert Goodwins

About Rupert Goodwins

Rupert started off as a nerdy lad expecting to be an electronics engineer, but having tried it for a while discovered that journalism was more fun. He ended up on PC Magazine in the early '90s, before that evolved into ZDNet UK - and Rupert evolved with them into an online journalist.

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  • What an utterly bizarre purchase. Otellini's statement is meaningless - security will be important in future, he says. Well, duh. But it is now. So:
    1. Why hasn't Intel been in the security software market before if it's so important?
    2. Intel makes infrastructure - rather well as it happens. Why would it want to get into the software market at all?
    3. Why pick on security in particular?
    4. Why not buy into the networking business, if it thinks that "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"?
    5. Did it buy lots of PCs and find that McAfee came bundled in?
    Manek Dubash
  • Will Intel be adding this to its previous acquisition of most of AVG in 2005?