Intel to buy McAfee for $7.68bn

The chipmaker has bought the anti-malware outfit in unexpected move into security software, saying the partnership will create breakthroughs in wireless mobility
Written by Rupert Goodwins, Contributor on

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.

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