McAfee in talks to go private in deal worth more than $14bn

Antivirus software program firm McAfee is in superior talks to go personal in a deal value greater than $14bn together with debt led by personal fairness agency Creation Worldwide, in response to two folks briefed on the negotiations.

The buyout can be one of many largest of the yr and, if profitable, mark an finish to McAfee’s transient run on public inventory markets after its initial public offering in October 2020.

Boston-based Creation is main a consortium of traders, together with personal fairness agency Permira; Canadian pension plan CPP Funding Board; Crosspoint Capital; Abu Dhabi Funding Authority; and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, the folks stated, describing the talks as superior.

McAfee has complete debt of about $4bn, which means the deal would put its fairness worth at greater than $10bn.

Bloomberg first reported the talks, which prompted McAfee shares to shut up over 20 per cent on Friday, giving the corporate a market worth of $10.9bn.

“We aren’t in a position to present a response right now,” McAfee stated.

CPPIB and Permira declined to remark, whereas ADIA, GIC and Crosspoint didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

A deal to take McAfee personal can be the most recent twist for an organization with a vibrant historical past. The developer of antivirus software program was based in 1987 by John McAfee, who left the corporate within the mid-Nineties and finally turned a flamboyant cryptocurrency entrepreneur who usually primarily based himself in Belize.

In October 2020, the US Division of Justice indicted McAfee for tax evasion. He was then detained in Spain on market manipulation expenses in March this yr and located lifeless in his jail cell close to Barcelona in June.

Intel acquired McAfee in 2010 for $7.7bn and bought a 51 per cent stake in 2016 to non-public fairness agency TPG Capital in a $4.2bn transaction. The next yr, TPG bought a part of its stake to software-focused personal fairness agency Thoma Bravo.

McAfee used $740m of the proceeds raised throughout in its IPO in October 2020 to repay debt.

This summer time, the corporate bought its enterprise enterprise to Symphony Expertise Group in a $4bn deal aimed toward additional deleveraging its stability sheet. A month after the July 2021 sale, McAfee paid a $4.5 per share particular dividend to shareholders, which embody TPG, Thoma Bravo, GIC and Intel.

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