Mergers and Acquisitions, MSP, Small business

Avast Acquires AVG Technologies for $1.3 Billion

Vince Steckler
Vince Steckler
Gary Kovacs

Avast Software has acquired AVG Technologies for $1.3 billion in cash. The deal focuses heavily on the security industry, and ChannelE2E is checking to see what the buyout means for AVG's Managed Workplace, an RMM (remote monitoring and management) platform for MSPs serving the SMB customer market.

> Update July 11, 2016: Avast statement on AVG channel partner program
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Throughout the press announcement, Avast and AVG emphasized their core focus on security -- protecting a combined 400 million endpoints, of which 160 million are mobile. "This increase in scale will enable Avast to create more technically advanced personal security and privacy products," the company's said.

Avast Software CEO Vince Steckler also pointed to similar corporate cultures, noting that both companies were founded in the Czech Republic -- and both first have been pursuing new opportunities like IoT (Internet of Things) security. AVG CEO Gary Kovacs says the companies have also been shifting from "device-centric security" toward devices, data and people.

The transaction is expected to close sometime between September 15, and October 15, 2016, depending on the timing of regulatory review, the two companies said.

AVG Managed Workplace and MSPs: Update?

Avast has a channel partner program, as does AVG. But the prepared statements made no mention of channel partners, nor did it mention Managed Workplace -- an AVG platform that empowers MSPs (managed services providers) with RMM capabilities.

AVG acquired Managed Workplace when the company purchased Level Platforms in 2013. AVG, at least initially, stumbled a bit with the buyout as it struggled to align Managed Workplace with AVG's CloudCare security service. The security company also struggled to understand and master the MSP channel -- which is quite different from traditional VAR an reseller channels.

Amid financial losses in its SMB business, AVG reorganized its efforts in 2015 and promised that the SMB effort -- including Managed Workplace -- would achieve break-even status or profits in 2016. Several 2016 milestones -- including the Managed Workplace 10 launch, and a revamped channel/distribution strategy -- seemed to indicate that AVG was making progress on the SMB front.

Managed Workplace: Keeping Pace?

Still, ChannelE2E considers Managed Workplace a niche offing within the broader MSP software market these days. Many rival RMM platforms have enjoyed serious momentum in recent years, and more recent M&A deals -- such as SolarWinds acquiring LogicNow -- have created MSP software giants that are far larger in scale and scope than AVG's efforts to date.

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.