Intel and TPG begin early discussions with Thoma Bravo to sell McAfee

Reports indicate that Thoma Bravo, an American private equity company, is in early talks for acquiring security software firm McAfee from Intel and TGP for a considerable premium over the company’s 2016 valuation of $4.2 billion. However, talks may still fall apart, and announcement of the deal is not expected soon.

Sources familiar to the matter revealed that chipmaker Intel currently sees itself as a pure financial investor in McAfee. Intel has allegedly participated in the standalone McAfee’s recent value creation by holding its minority stake, as it stands in line to regain some of the lost value if this deal goes through.

According to records, McAfee was publicly traded until Intel bought it for $7.6 billion in 2010. Intel hoped to align its chips closely with the McAfee’s security technology. However, this vision did not turn out well for Intel, which agreed to accept a cut down of over $3 billion when it sold 51 per cent of the business to TPG in a 2016 deal, announced at a valuation of $4.2 billion.

The majority ownership of TGP has purportedly helped in transforming the McAfee business in less than two years with add-on acquisitions. McAfee closed its takeover of Skyhigh Networks, in January, which assists companies to monitor cloud services that their employees are using. McAfee also acquired Tunnelbear in March, that provides VPNs for protecting data while using shared WiFi accounts.

It was earlier reported that Symantec was approached with a takeover offer from Thoma Bravo. Sources cite that if the deal for McAfee gets closed, the purchase of Symantec would be ruled out.

Founded by John McAfee in 1987, McAfee developed cybersecurity software for personal computers and servers, to protect users from malware and other viruses. The computer security provided by the firm prevented attacks on personal devices. Recently, it has also expanded into cloud computing and mobile devices, where the hackers have migrated.