NortonLifeLock and Avast finalise $8 billion merger

The companies said the merger would create a ‘new, industry-leading cyber security business’

A magnified image showing the NortonLifeLock website url

NortonLifeLock and Avast are set to merge in a deal worth over $8 billion, which will see the companies create a “new, industry-leading consumer cyber security business” and serve a joint customer base of over 500 million users.

The companies added that the deal will combine Avast’s strength in privacy and NortonLifeLock’s strength in identity to produce “a broad and complementary product portfolio” which goes beyond core security.

The merger, which is expected to close in mid-2022, puts Avast's enterprise value between approximately $8.1 billion and $8.6 billion, depending on the results of Avast shareholders’ elections.

Both companies confirmed they were in initial takeover talks back in July, although it was unclear at the time whether a deal would be reached in time for the 11 August deadline set by the UK takeover code.

Avast shareholders will be able to choose either a majority stock option, where they receive 31% of the deal in cash and 69% in stock, or the option to receive 90% in cash and 10% in stock if they “desire immediate liquidity”, according to an investor presentation.

“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,” said Ondřej Vlček, CEO of Avast.

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Following the transaction, Vlček is expected to join NortonLifeLock as President and become a member of its board of directors while Pavel Baudiš, co-founder and director of Avast, is also expected to join the board as an independent director. NortonLifeLock CEO Vincent Pilette and CFO Natalie Derse will remain in their positions.

“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,” said Pilette.

The combined company will be listed on NASDAQ and be dual headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic, and Tempe, Arizona, and will “have a significant presence in the Czech Republic”.

In 2019, Broadcom agreed to Symantec's enterprise business, resulting in a rebranding of Symantec's remaining business to NortonLifeLock. A few months later, Accenture bought the Symantec division from Broadcom, which gave the company access to global threat monitoring and analysis tools as well as real-time threat intelligence specific to certain industries.

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