Intel announces mega-deal to purchase McAfee

In a statement released today, Intel said the purchase will result in McAfee becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intel that will report to the company’s Software and Services group.

Readers of Infosecurity have undoubtedly recognised the recent surge of acquisitions in the security sector but, for the most part, deals have been the result of larger players gobbling up smaller ones. This deal, however, ranks as this year’s most significant transaction to date, with Intel purchasing one of the world’s largest security vendors.

The significance of the deal was not lost on Pat Clawson, CEO of endpoint security provider Lumension: “Intel’s acquisition of McAfee will not only fundamentally change the security landscape, it will have a ripple effect throughout industry. With this acquisition Intel is addressing areas that we really need to get better at protecting – smart phones, televisions, medical technology and cash machines. Short term, it gives Intel a competitive advantage but will no doubt make other chip manufacturers, like AMD, consider whether they need to mirror the acquisition.”

Clawson was not afraid to make more bold predictions about what the deal signals, saying that a top-tier security firm like Symantec could be an acquisition target for a large chip manufacturer or hardware company.

“On the flip side, it could leave a wasteland of security companies, as mid-sized security companies see a diminishing number of prospective acquirers”, she added.

In a YouTube video highlighting the deal, Renée James, senior VP of Intel’s Software and Services group, said she expects the entire McAfee employee base to remain with the company, including its management structure.

James also added that with the McAfee acquisition, Intel can now add an additional ‘p’ to its focus areas of power and performance – that being “protection”. She highlighted the longstanding relationship between McAfee and Intel (Intel is a McAfee customer) as being one of the main contributors to the company’s willingness to pull of the deal.

"Hardware-enhanced security will lead to breakthroughs in effectively countering the increasingly sophisticated threats of today and tomorrow," James continued. "This acquisition is consistent with our software and services strategy to deliver an outstanding computing experience in fast-growing business areas, especially around the move to wireless mobility."

Intel expects the deal will lead to co-development of new products for cloud network and mobile device security to address the ever-changing landscape of computing devices, calling itself and McAfee “home to two of the most innovative labs and research in the high-tech industry”.

Intel said the deal has been unanimously approved by its board of directors, as well as that of McAfee, and is now awaiting McAfee shareholder and regulatory approvals.

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