Intel to acquire security firm McAfee for $7.68 billion

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In a rather surprising announcement, Intel today revealed it plans to acquire antivirus company McAfee in an all cash deal worth $7.68 billion. That equates to $48 per share, a 60% premium over McAfee's Wednesday closing stock price of $29.93. The deal should help Intel serve the security needs of customers through a combination of hardware and software, particularly in the mobile and embedded segment, where it has struggled to expand its presence as more devices such as smartphones, televisions, medical equipment, and ATM machines go online.

McAfee is one of the largest security technology companies in the world and saw nearly $2 billion in revenue last year. Aside from its desktop antivirus software, it also offers end-point and networking products and services, as well as a growing line of security products targeting mobile devices. Under the agreement, McAfee's senior staff will continue to lead the company as a wholly owned subsidiary, reporting into Intel's Software and Services Group.

The acquisition is Intel's largest in its history and the second this week. On Monday, Intel said it would buy Texas Instruments' cable modem product line for an undisclosed amount. The McAfee deal has been approved by the boards of directors at both companies, though it still requires approval from shareholders and regulators for it to become final.

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