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Intel and private equity fund TPG have agreed to a deal that will create a new jointly-owned independent cybersecurity firm from the Intel Security unit, which will be renamed as McAfee.
The new business is valued at $4.2 billion, and the Intel Security sale will net Intel $3.1 billion; the chip giant will also retain a 49% stake in the new business.
After the Intel Security sale is concluded, the new firm will be led by Chris Young, current Intel senior vice president and Intel Security general manager, along with the existing Intel Security management team.
In their announcement, Intel and TPG stated that McAfee will be one of the world's largest pure-play cybersecurity companies, and the two firms stated they were committed to turning McAfee into an independent company with access to significant resources.
"Security remains important in everything we do at Intel and going forward we will continue to integrate industry-leading security and privacy capabilities in our products from the cloud to billions of smart, connected computing devices," Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said in a press statement.
"As we collaborate with TPG to establish McAfee as an independent company, we will also share in the future success of the business and in the market demand for top-flight security solutions, creating long-term value for McAfee's customers, partners, employees and Intel's shareholders. Intel will continue our collaboration with McAfee as we offer safe and secure products to our customers," Krzanich added.
Intel originally purchased McAfee in 2011, paying $7.68 billion in cash for the antivirus firm in a move that puzzled many. Intel renamed the unit "Intel Security" in 2014, though they continued to offer products bearing the McAfee brand.
Intel Security made major investments in its portfolio during the five-year stint, one of the biggest being the Security Connected strategy. The strategy aimed to integrate non-Intel security products with Intel Security technology, using the company's Data Exchange Layer (DXL) and Threat Intelligence Exchange (TIE) platforms.
The Intel Security era also included surprising moves and strategy shifts. For example, last fall the company moved several of the McAfee SaaS security products, including McAfee SaaS Endpoint Protection, into end-of-life stage the same week it announced a new corporate strategy to focus on endpoint and cloud security at its FOCUS 15 event in Las Vegas.
One potential fly in the ointment for the Intel Security sale relates to the name announced for the unit: John McAfee, the founder of Intel Security predecessor McAfee Associates, has gone to court to fight for his right to start a cybersecurity business under the McAfee banner, The Register reported.
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