McAfee reborn as Intel spins it off

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McAfee reborn as Intel spins it off

Intel has announced a partnership with global asset firm TPG to create a standalone cybersecurity company that will return to the familiar name of McAfee.

The chipmaker will receive US$3.1 billion (A$4 billion) in cash to sell down its stake to 49 percent of the new business. TPG will hold the majority 51 percent stake. 

The transaction is set to create a US$4.2 billion (A$5.4 billion) business and TPG has announced a US$1.1 billion equity investment to "help drive growth and enhance focus as a standalone business".

Chris Young, Intel senior vice president and Intel Security general manager, will lead the new company.

"We will continue to focus on solving the unique demands of customers in the dynamic cybersecurity marketplace, drive innovation that anticipates future market needs, and continue to grow through our strategic priorities," said Young.

Jim Coulter, co-founder and co-chief executive at TPG, said: "We have long identified the cybersecurity sector, which has experienced strong growth due to the increasing volume and severity of cyberattacks, as one of the most important areas in technology.

"Given McAfee’s leading global market position, loyal customer base, and trusted technology, we see a compelling opportunity to invest in a highly-strategic platform that is growing consistently and addressing significant and evolving market demand."

Currently, Intel Security’s software platform protects more than a quarter of a billion endpoints, secures the footprint for nearly two-thirds of the world’s 2,000 largest companies, detects more than 400,000 new threats each day, and represents more than 7,500 strong of the industry’s most talented professionals, according to the company.

Through the first half of this year, Intel Security Group revenue grew 11 percent to US$1.1 billion, while operating income grew 391 percent to $182 million.

McAfee was founded by John McAfee in 1987. In August 2010, Intel announced it would purchase the company, with McAfee becoming part of the Intel Security division.

Partner's view

Kevin O'Sullivan, Kinetic IT service director told CRN that there has been speculation over the past 12 months, so when the news came this morning there was no surprise. O'Sullivan saw it as a positive change.

"What we've seen is an ability to be more aggressive with innovative ideas that enhance value, and we are quite comfortable with it," added O'Sullivan.

"They can focus on cybersecurity products that can meet the challenges we face when it comes to the evolving cyber threats."

In an open letter, McAfee's Young said that partners will be able to "confidently represent one of the most comprehensive, leading portfolios in the industry".

"As a pure-play provider, McAfee will accelerate the rate of innovation in delivering an integrated portfolio that is increasingly automated and orchestrated. And, with the investment by Intel, you will continue to benefit from Intel’s technology leadership. Rest assured that McAfee will continue to stand behind you, alongside our joint customers, in delivering solutions across the entirety of the threat defence lifecycle."

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