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Investor group acquires McAfee for over $14B

Investor group acquires McAfee for over $14B
McAfee announced Monday that it has been acquired by an investor group. File Photo courtesy of McAfee/Facebook

Nov. 8 (UPI) -- An investor group has acquired McAfee antivirus software company for over $14 billion.

McAfee announced the deal Monday, which is expected to close by the first half of next year.

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The investor group includes Boston-based buyout firm Advent International, British global investment firm Permira; Crosspoint Capital Partners; Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, GIC Private Limited, which is a sovereign wealth fund in Singapore; and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, according to the announcement.

The group will acquire all outstanding shares of McAfee common stock for $26 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at over $14 billion on an enterprise value basis. The purchase price represents a premium of approximately 22.6% over McAfee's closing share price of $21.21 Thursday, the last trading day prior to Bloomberg reporting the potential sale.

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"McAfee is one of the most trusted brands in the essential business of consumer digital protection," Bryan Taylor, Head of Advent's technology investment team and managing partner in Palo Alto, said in the statement. "As consumers face new and complex cyber risks, we see tremendous opportunity to build on McAfee's differentiated technology platform to continue delivering innovative solutions that can protect all facets of the digital lives of people around the world."

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Intel, the world's largest electronic chipmaker, acquired McAfee in 2010 for $7.68 billion, and changed the brand name in 2014 to distance itself from the founder John McAfee, who had become controversial, but McAfee returned to the public stock market last year.

The one-time NASA and Lockheed computer programmer who founded the antivirus company in 1987, resigned from the security software company in 1994 and sold his remaining stakes two years after it went public.

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In June, McAfee, 75, was found dead in a Spanish prison cell after he was ordered to be extradited to the United States on tax fraud. Authorities said they believe he died by suicide in his cell at a prison in Spain's Catalonia region, El Diario reported.

In March, federal prosecutors charged McAfee and adviser Jimmy Gale, with conspiracy to commit fraud, among other crimes, in a scheme involving cryptocurrency investments.

In 2012, he fled to Guatemala to avoid police questioning in the shooting death of his neighbor in Belize, and the story became a focus of a 2016 Showtime documentary.

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Despite the Belize scandal, in 2015, McAfee announced his candidacy for the U.S. presidency as a Libertarian candidate, on a platform of pardoning all marijuana users in prison and stopping "the U.S. from being the world's policeman," but never secured the nomination.

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