Intel to spin out McAfee cybersecurity unit in $4.2bn deal

8 Sep 2016

Intel is spinning out its McAfee cybersecurity arm in a deal that values it at $4.2bn

Having acquired security software player McAfee for $7.6bn six years ago, Intel is now spinning the company out in a deal that values it at $4.2bn.

As part of the deal, Intel is selling its 51pc majority stake in the company to private equity firm TPG for $3.1bn.

TPG will make a $1.1bn equity investment in the company, which will operate independently from Intel, to drive its growth.

The transaction values McAfee at $4.2bn, including debt.

‘We have the right strategy and product portfolio to stay ahead of the adversaries who undermine our digital world’

The move reflects the transformation of the tech industry, and of Intel itself, in the years since the original acquisition – PC sales have shrunk, data has moved to the cloud, and devices like smartphones and tablet computers are omnipresent.

Intel changes direction

In the past year, Intel itself has changed gear, embarking on a major restructure that saw it cut 12,000 jobs – or 11pc of its entire workforce – and shift focus in the direction of chips for cloud data centres and the internet of things.

Part of this new direction may be witnessed in Intel’s acquisition this week of Irish chip company Movidius, which brings deep learning and machine vision to computing in a deal reportedly worth $300m.

Intel will retain a 49pc stake in McAfee, while TPG will own the remaining 51pc.

The new CEO of McAfee will be Chris Young, the current general manager of Intel Security.

Young said that the company, which employs 7,500 cybersecurity professionals, will aim to lead the security industry.

“We have the right strategy and product portfolio to stay ahead of the adversaries who undermine our digital world.

“We employ the most talented people, steadfast to being our customers’ preferred security partner. And, with this move, we will create the ideal company structure to position McAfee for enhanced focus, innovation and growth.

“In the end, McAfee will emerge in a position of greater strength, still fully committed to being the best provider in the cybersecurity industry worldwide,” Young said.

McAfee image via Shutterstock

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