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McAfee Shares Surge on Report it Is in Buyout Talks

Software security company said to be near selling itself to private equity firms for more than $10 billion.
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Shares of McAfee  (MCFE) - Get McAfee Corp. Class A Report surged Friday after a report the software security maker is in talks to sell itself to a consortium of private equity firms for more than $10 billion.

The company is nearing a deal with private equity firm Advent International and Permira, Bloomberg reported shortly before the closing bell. Crosspoint Capital Partners is also involved in the discussions, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

A deal could be announced in days, though no final agreement has been reached and the transaction could still fall apart, according to the report.

McAfee shares closed up $4.25, or 20%, at $25.46.

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The company was founded in the 1980s by its namesake, John McAfee, to take advantage of the nascent market for antivirus software. 

John McAfee left the company in 1994. He led an increasingly eccentric life in subsequent years, living in Belize and ultimately Spain. McAfee was a person of interest in a 2012 murder in Belize, though wasn’t charged with a crime, Bloomberg noted. He also sought the Libertarian Party nomination for president in 2016 and again in 2020.

He was found dead in a jail cell in Spain earlier this year after a Spanish court approved his extradition to the U.S. where he faced tax fraud charges.

The company was acquired by Intel  (INTC) - Get Intel Corporation Report in 2010. Intel sold a controlling interest in the company to the TPG investment firm.

McAfee came public again in October of 2020 at $20 a share. The share offering raised $740 million.