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Intel Set for More Security M&A

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Intel (INTC - Get Report) plans to follow up its $7.7 billion purchase of McAfee with more security deals, according to Renée James, senior vice president of the chip giant's software and services group.

"Going forward, we will continue to make acquisitions in security," she said during a meeting with analysts on Tuesday. "We will continue to grow the portfolio."
Former McAfee CEO Dave DeWalt will play a lead role in future Intel acquisitions.

Future acquisitions will be managed by Intel's new security subsidiary, which will be run by Dave DeWalt, the former CEO of McAfee, she said.

Up until the McAfee purchase, Intel focused on smaller software purchases. James admitted that it wasn't easy convincing the firm's board to make the largest purchase in its history. "We believe that this was the best company in the security area," she said.

The two companies gave investors a peek into their long-term strategy at the RSA Conference earlier this year, announcing a partnership to develop and market security solutions for non-PC devices.

DeWalt fleshed out more details of the partnership with Intel's Wind River subsidiary during the Boston analyst meeting. McAfee, he said, had just 50 OEM relationships prior to the Intel deal; today, it has access to 2000 partners at Wind River alone.

"There's a huge opportunity for us as a market expansion opportunity moving forward," he said.

Intel's security division will also unveil a McAfee for Wind River product on March 31. Wind River is Intel's division-building software for mobile and embedded devices, and the executive said that the product will offer security for platforms running on these devices.

The two companies have already discussed the potential for embedded devices within the technology infrastructure of nuclear reactors, utility grids and defense communication systems. De Walt again alluded to the security needs of nuclear power plants during his presentation on Tuesday.

The Intel security chief also promised two additional software releases from his division during 2011.

Intel's McAfee purchase was recently cited as as a massive window of opportunity by rival software maker Symantec (SYMC), which said that it was gaining market share as a result of the deal.

DeWalt, however, told analysts that he did not see any erosion in McAfee's market share while Intel was closing the acquisition. "There was no disruption in our business model closing this thing," he said. "That's not easy to do."

Intel's stock dipped 80 cents to $20.03 in Tuesday afternoon trading, mirroring a broader Nasdaq selloff.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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