US-based cyber security vendor NortonLifeLock, formerly known as Symantec, has finalised a deal to merge with Czech Republic headquartered rival Avast in a deal worth up to US$8.6 billion.
The agreement comes close to a month after both companies confirmed they were in advanced discussions regarding a possible combination of NortonLifeLock and Avast, both of which are publicly listed.
The two companies’ boards have said that they believe the merger has compelling strategic and financial rationale and represents an attractive opportunity to create a new, industry-leading consumer cyber safety business, the space in which both vendors play.
It is anticipated the merger will leverage the established brands, technology and innovation of both groups to deliver substantial benefits to consumers, shareholders and other 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,” said Vincent Pilette, NortonLifeLock CEO.
“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,” he claimed.
For Ondřej Vlček, Avast CEO, the deal comes 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 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,” he added.
Under the terms of the merger deal, Avast shareholders will be entitled to receive a combination of cash consideration and newly issued shares in NortonLifeLock with alternative consideration elections available.
Based on NortonLifeLock’s closing share price of US$27.20 on July 13, 2021, the merger values Avast’s entire issued and yet to be issued ordinary share capital between approximately US$8.1 billion and US$8.6 billion, depending on Avast shareholders’ elections.
The NortonLifeLock brand emerged after Symantec sold its enterprise security assets to Broadcom in a US$10.7 billion deal.
Symantec's consumer cyber safety business, which included device security, identity threat protection and privacy software for consumers and small businesses, remained with the business and was, eventually to become known as NortonLifeLock.