NortonLifeLock buys Avast in a $8.6 bn deal, to cut job

Antivirus supplier NortonLifeLock today announced merger details with Britain’s Avast in a transaction valued between $8.1 billion and $8.6 billion in stock.
NortonLifeLock security solutions
The merger values Avast’s share between approximately $8.1 billion and $8.6 billion, based on NortonLifeLock’s closing share price of $27.20 on July 13, 2021. Avast shareholders will receive a combination of cash consideration and shares in NortonLifeLock.

Founded and based in Prague, Czech Republic, Avast is a pioneer of “freemium” software, whereby basic applications are free and subscribers pay for premium features. It had 435 million active users at the end of 2020, of whom 16.5 million were paying.

NortonLifeLock, previously known as Symantec, was renamed after it sold its enterprise business to Broadcom in 2019, leaving it focused on consumers. It has a larger premium business selling products to combat viruses, spyware, malware and other online attacks.

The combined company will have nearly 5,000 workers but will seek to cut that to around 4,000 in the two years after the deal closes, expected in nine to 12 months.

Vincent Pilette, Chief Executive Officer of NortonLifeLock, said: “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.”

Ondrej Vlcek, Chief Executive Officer of Avast, said: “Our talented teams will have better opportunities to innovate and develop enhanced solutions and services, with improved capabilities from access to superior data insights.”

The combined cyber security company will have over 500 million users including 40 million direct customers.

NortonLifeLock and Avast will also benefit from geographic diversification and facilitates expansion into the SOHO / VSB segments. $280 million will be the annual gross cost synergies.

NortonLifeLock’s CEO, Vincent Pilette, will remain CEO, NortonLifeLock’s CFO, Natalie Derse, will remain CFO, and Avast’s CEO, Ondrej Vlcek, is expected to join NortonLifeLock as President and become a member of the NortonLifeLock Board of Directors. Pavel Baudis, co-founder of Avast, is expected to join the NortonLifeLock Board as an independent director.

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

NortonLifeLock, formerly the consumer security technology arm of Symantec, separated from Symantec when the enterprise security business was purchased by Broadcom in late 2019.

Eleven-year-old Avast focuses on software for consumers and small and medium businesses.

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