Private equity, Content, Networking

NortonLifeLock: McAfee, Private Equity Express Buyout Interest

McAfee could potentially split into two companies (enterprise and consumer), and the consumer arm may be interested in merging with NortonLifeLock, the $16 billion consumer security business, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Private equity firms Permira and Advent International Corp. are also interested in potentially acquiring NortonLifeLock, the report says. There's no guarantee that a deal in any form will actually occur.

The pursuit of NortonLifeLock involves some irony and a mix of high-powered players. The business is the former Symantec, which earlier this year sold its enterprise arm to Broadcom.

Meanwhile, McAfee is backed by Intel, TPG and Thoma Bravo -- the private equity firm that owns multiple MSP software and cybersecurity companies. Thoma Bravo's portfolio includes Barracuda, ConnectWise, a piece of SolarWinds, and a deal to buy Sophos that's expected to close soon.

NortonLifeLock may require several months to decide its own ownership fate since multiple seats in the company's boardroom are set for rotation, The Wall Street Journal reports. ChannelE2E did not independently confirm the report.

Both McAfee and Symantec have spent recent years struggling to jumpstart growth amid the shift from PC-centric security to cloud, mobile and managed security services. Many MSPs embraced next-generation endpoint security services that were purpose-built for recurring revenue partner models.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.