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Thoma Bravo拟42亿美元收购安全软件创企McAfee

据知情人士透露,私募股权公司Thoma Bravo早前正在与TPG和英特尔就收购安全软件公司McAfee进行谈判,出价高于McAfee 2016年42亿美元的估值。

该知情人士表示,谈判可能仍然会破裂,并且不会很快宣布达成协议。

McAfee由John McAfee于1987年创立,一直以来致力于为个人计算机和服务器开发网络安全软件,保护用户免受恶意软件和其他病毒的侵害。这一类型的计算机安全防止了对个人设备的攻击。最近,随着黑客攻击范围的变化,该公司已经将计算机安全业务扩展到了移动设备和云计算领域。

2010年,英特尔以76亿美元的价格收购了该公司。这家芯片制造商希望将其芯片与McAfee的安全技术紧密结合。对于英特尔而言,这一愿景并未实现。于是,该公司在2016年宣布的一项交易中,以42亿美元的估值,将其51%的股份出售给TPG,收回了超过30亿美元的资金。几个月后,TPG又邀请Thoma Bravo进行了少数股权投资。

通过附加收购,TPG利用其多数股权,在不到两年的时间内帮助McAfee实现业务转型。今年1月,McAfee完成了对Skyhigh Networks的收购,Skyhigh Networks帮助企业监控员工正在使用的云服务。今年3月,该公司还收购了Tunnelbear,后者通过提供虚拟专用网络,可在使用共享WiFi帐户时保护数据。

据一位知情人士透露,英特尔现在认为自己纯粹只是McAfee的财务投资者。尽管如此,英特尔还是通过持有的少数股权,参与了McAfee近期的收购活动。而且,如果Thoma Bravo的交易未能达成,它还可以弥补部分失去的价值。两位知情人士都表示,这笔交易将统一McAfee的所有权,并可能使其再次上市。

路透社曾于11月报道称,Thoma Bravo已经接触了Symantec,并提出了收购要约。一位知情人士表示,McAfee交易将排除Symantec收购的可能性。

TPG和英特尔的发言人拒绝发表评论。Thoma Bravo发言人尚未回复置评请求。

Private equity firm Thoma Bravo is in early discussions to acquire security software company McAfee from TPG and Intel for a significant premium over the company's 2016 $4.2 billion valuation, according to people familiar with the matter.

Talks may still fall apart and a deal announcement isn't expected soon, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.

McAfee, founded by John McAfee in 1987, historically developed cybersecurity software for personal computers and servers, protecting users from malware and other viruses. This type of computer security prevented attacks on personal devices. More recently, it has expanded into mobile devices and cloud computing, which is where hackers have migrated.

The company was publicly traded until 2010, when Intel bought it for $7.6 billion. The chipmaker hoped to closely align its chips with McAfee's security technology. That vision didn't pan out for Intel, which took a haircut of more than $3 billion when it sold 51 percent of the business to TPG in a deal announced in 2016 at a valuation of $4.2 billion. Several months later, TPG brought on Thoma Bravo to make a minority investment.

TPG's majority ownership has helped transform the McAfee business in less than two years with add-on acquisitions. In January, McAfee closed its takeover of Skyhigh Networks, which helps companies monitor which cloud services employees are using. In March, McAfee also acquired Tunnelbear, which provides virtual private networks that protect data when using shared WiFi accounts.

Intel sees itself as purely a financial investor in McAfee now, according to one of the people. Still, Intel has participated in the recent value creation of the standalone McAfee by holding its minority stake and stands in line to recoup some of the lost value if the Thoma Bravo deal goes though. A deal would unify the ownership of McAfee and could put it in position to go public again, two of the people said.

Reuters reported in November that Thoma Bravo had approached Symantec with a takeover offer. A deal for McAfee would rule out a Symantec purchase, one of the people said.

Spokespeople for TPG and Intel declined to comment. A spokesman for Thoma Bravo did not immediately respond.

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