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McAfee in Talks to Go Private Via Deal With Advent, Permira

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(Bloomberg) -- Cybersecurity software maker McAfee Corp. is in advanced talks to go private through a deal with buyout firms Advent International Corp. and Permira, just over a year after it returned to the public markets, according to people familiar with the matter. A deal could be announced within days and could value McAfee’s equity at more than $10 billion, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the details are private. Private equity firm Crosspoint Capital Partners is also involved in the consortium, the people said. No final agreement has been reached and talks could still fall apart, they said.

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Representatives for Permira, Crosspoint and TPG, which is McAfee’s largest shareholder, declined to comment. A spokesperson for San Jose, California-based McAfee wasn’t immediately able to provide comment, while Advent didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Shares of McAfee closed up 20% at $25.46, giving the company a market valuation of $11 billion. McAfee has total debt of about $4 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Founded by cybersecurity entrepreneur John McAfee in 1987, the company was a pioneer in developing antivirus software for personal computers. McAfee left in 1994, and was found dead in a Spanish prison cell in June this year, hours after Spain’s National Court approved his extradition to the U.S. over multiple tax fraud charges. McAfee was acquired by Intel Corp. in 2010. In 2016, Intel announced that it had signed an agreement to transfer a 51% stake in McAfee to the investment firm TPG in a deal that valued the spun off company at $4.2 billion, including debt. McAfee returned to the public markets in October last year.

(Adds reference to Crosspoint Capital in second paragraph.)

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