Avast to acquire anti-virus software player AVG for $1.3bn

7 Jul 2016

Czech mate: both AVG and Avast were founded in the Czech Republic. Avast is headquartered in Prague

Anti-virus software maker AVG Technologies has been acquired by Avast Software for $1.3bn.

Netherlands-based AVG was originally founded in the Czech Republic where Avast was also founded.

Avast will acquire AVG stock at $25 per share. AVG’s board is recommending their shareholders accept the $1.3bn offer.

‘Both are innovators with world class R&D teams. Both have most of their users outside of their home Czech market. Both have had similar user bases for many years: about 200m each’

Avast is understood to have received financing in the region of $1.6bn from Credit Suisse Securities, Jefferies and UBS Investment Bank to complete the deal.

Czech mate

Avast CEO Vincent Steckler said that because both companies were originally founded in the Czech Republic and were both started in the 1980s and among the first to fight viruses and malware, people often confused the two companies.

“Both pioneered the free distribution of top-quality security products (although, to be honest, I must admit that AVG was first and we followed). Both make great security products. Both are innovators with world-class R&D teams.

“Both have most of their users outside of their home Czech market. Both have had similar user bases for many years: about 200m each. And, most importantly, both treat their users with respect and, consequently, each has a large and loyal user base. One slight difference though is that, while Avast is a private company, AVG is public and listed on the New York Stock Exchange.”

He said that, in spite of that one difference, the companies are so similar that it is only natural that they are combined.

“If the AVG shareholders do accept, following the various governmental regulator approvals, AVG will become part of Avast and we will jointly work on a great future together.

Avast, ye hackers!

Prague-headquartered Avast Software was founded 28 years ago by Pavel Baudiš and Eduard Kučera and, as of 2015, it controlled 21.4pc of the global security software market and protected more than 30pc of all consumer PCs in the world outside of China.

The company has 500 employees, mostly based in the Czech Republic

AVG was founded in 1991 by Jan Gritzbach and Tomáš Hofer in Prague and is currently headquartered in Amsterdam. It employs more than 1,800 people worldwide and has over 200m active users worldwide.

Combined, both Avast and AVG will serve just under 500m PCs, Macs and smartphones with internet security software worldwide.

Prague image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years