Intel has announced its intention to acquire McAfee for $7.68 billion, around £5 billion.
It has confirmed that McAfee will continue to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary, reporting into Intel's Software and Services Group. Both boards of directors have unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close after McAfee shareholder approval, regulatory clearances and other customary conditions specified in the agreement.
Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO, said: “With the rapid expansion of growth across a vast array of internet-connected devices, more and more of the elements of our lives have moved online.
“In the past, energy-efficient performance and connectivity have defined computing requirements. Looking forward, security will join those as a third pillar of what people demand from all computing experiences.
“The addition of McAfee products and technologies into the Intel computing portfolio brings us incredibly talented people with a track record of delivering security innovations, products and services that the industry and consumers trust to make connecting to the internet safer and more secure.”
Renée James, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the software and services group, said: “Hardware-enhanced security will lead to breakthroughs in effectively countering the increasingly sophisticated threats of today and tomorrow. This acquisition is consistent with our software and services strategy to deliver an outstanding computing experience in fast-growing business areas, especially around the move to wireless mobility.
“McAfee is the next step in this strategy and the right security partner for us. Our current work together has impressive prospects and we look forward to introducing a product from our strategic partnership next year.”
Dave DeWalt, president and CEO of McAfee, said: “This is incredibly exciting to me as it reflects what we at McAfee have been saying for some time: security is a fundamental component of modern computing and it is increasingly relevant in a completely connected world. Intel's agreement to acquire McAfee underscores that.
“There is no better partner that we could have found than Intel. They share our vision for security and they share our vision of a connected world. Working together we'll be far stronger globally and able to make a much bigger difference in people's lives.”
DeWalt also confirmed that when the acquisition closes, McAfee will remain as a standalone subsidiary and retain its leadership team and expertise, which will facilitate future innovation in security.
McAfee CTO George Kurtz said that he was ‘really excited about this acquisition because security is as important as energy efficient performance and connectivity when it comes to computing'. He said: “The combination of McAfee and Intel will significantly increase the protection for consumers and organisations globally and lead to what I believe will be breakthrough security innovations.”
McAfee was rumoured to have been in negotiations with HP during this year's Infosecurity Europe exhibition. At that time it declined to comment on speculation, with a spokesperson claiming that the vendor 'had nothing of value to say on the matter'. Instead the major announcements of Symantec's acquisition of PGP and HP of smartphone provider Palm dominated the headlines.