McAfee in talks for US$1B public market return Credit: Peter SayerIDGIDG

McAfee in talks for US$1B public market return

Cyber security vendor McAfee is reportedly planning to go public again, with a potential IPO raising at least US$1 billion, valuing the software company more than US$5 billion, The Wall Street Journal said, citing sources.

McAfee was bought by Intel for US$7.7 billion for in 2011 and then spun off 51 per cent to private equity fund TPG Capital six years later at a US$4.2 billion enterprise value. 

American private equity firm Thoma Bravo also joined as an investor in 2017.

According to the WSJ, McAfee has boosted cash flows through changes to its business strategy as well as acquisitions, which is likely to draw investors’ eyes. 

At the end of 2017, the company acquired cloud-security provider Skyhigh Networks for an undisclosed amount and VPN company TunnelBear in March 2018. 

McAfee declined to comment on the IPO report to Reuters, saying it “does not comment on rumours”.

At the end of last year, Thoma Bravo was reported to be early talks to buy McAfee from TPG Capital and Intel,  as part of an effort to consolidate the cyber security sector.

Around the same time, Thoma Bravo had approached McAfee’s rival Symantec with a takeover offer, the latter of which now looks set to be snapped up by Broadcom for US$15 billion. 

In a reversal to McAfee, a Symantec buyout would take the publicly traded company private  after 30 years.

Read more: New cyber security outfit ShadowLens hits the market


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