Over the weekend, one topic dominated the conversation in the endpoint security market: the possible acquisition of endpoint security solution provider McAfee by private equity firm Thoma Bravo. According to a report by CNBC, who broke the story on the potentially market-shaking deal, the principal players are already in talks.
TPG Capital currently owns 51% of McAfee, which they acquired from hardware manufacturer Intel in 2016 for $4.2 billion. Intel acquired McAfee in 2010 for $7.6 billion. In 2017, Thoma Bravo acquired a minority stake in the solution provider.
According to CNBC, the deal would value McAfee significantly more than their 2016 valuation of $4.2 billion. Rumors speculated Thoma Bravo seriously considered acquiring endpoint security competitor Symantec in November. Symantec currently trades as a public company, and an acquisition would take them private. However, sources close the matter said Thoma Bravo wouldn’t continue pursuing of Symantec if the deal for ownership of McAfee went through.
As of time of writing, no deal with TPG, Intel, and Thoma Bravo comes with a guarantee; any number of factors may result in one or all of the parties walking away. None of the principal actors—McAfee, Symantec, TPG, and Intel—has given a direct statement on the potential deal. Thoma Bravo did not respond to requests for comment.
McAfee acquired cloud monitoring provider Skyhigh Networks in January of 2018 and VPN provider Tunnelbear in March. Technology research firm Gartner named McAfee a Visionary in the 2018 Endpoint Protection Platform Magic Quadrant report. They were also a 2018 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Endpoint Security and Protection Software. McAfee was also named as a Leader in the 2018 SIEM Magic Quadrant report.
Thoma Bravo currently owns or owns a stake in numerous cybersecurity solution providers across the spectrum of branches including Barracuda Networks, Centrify, Idaptive, Logrhythm, SailPoint, and SolarWinds.