NortonLifeLock and Avast to merge
NortonLifeLock and Avast have announced that they have reached an agreement on a merger between the two companies.
The agreement was reached after NortonLifeLock submitted a recommended offer for the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Avast. Based on NortonLifeLock’s closing share price of US$27.20 on July 13, 2021, the merger values Avast’s entire ordinary share capital between approximately $8.1 billion and $8.6 billion, depending on Avast shareholders’ elections.
The boards of both companies believe the merger has ‘compelling strategic and financial rationale’, and creates an opportunity to create a new cyber safety business. The merged business, the companies say, will then leverage the established technology of both groups to deliver ‘substantial benefits’ to stakeholders.
“This transaction is a huge step forward for consumer Cyber Safety and will ultimately enable us to achieve our vision to protect and empower people to live their digital lives safely,” says NortonLifeLock chief executive officer Vincent Pilette.
“With this combination, we can strengthen our Cyber Safety platform and make it available to more than 500 million users. We will also have the ability to further accelerate innovation to transform Cyber Safety.”
Under the terms of the merger, Avast shareholders will be entitled to receive a combination of cash consideration and newly issued shares in NortonLifeLock with alternative consideration elections available.
“At a time when global cyber threats are growing, yet cyber safety penetration remains very low, together with NortonLifeLock, we will be able to accelerate our shared vision of providing holistic cyber protection for consumers around the globe,” says Avast chief executive officer Ondřej Vlček.
“Our talented teams will have better opportunities to innovate and develop enhanced solutions and services, with improved capabilities from access to superior data insights.
“Through our well-established brands, greater geographic diversification and access to a larger global user base, the combined businesses will be poised to access the significant growth opportunity that exists worldwide.”
News of the merger comes only a month after Avast announced a threat intelligence partnership with RiskIQ. Under the agreement, the two companies will use their specific areas of expertise to develop combined threat intelligence for their customer bases to enhance security practices.
“Our global threat intelligence will contribute to RiskIQ’s understanding of the worldwide threat landscape,” says Avast senior VP for partner business Nick Viney.
“Avast will leverage RiskIQ’s intelligence to enrich our data and further scale our threat hunting and response capabilities for companies and consumers alike.”