McAfee Corp. (“McAfee”), a global leader in online protection, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an investor group led by Advent International Corporation (“Advent”) and Permira Advisers LLC (“Permira”), Crosspoint Capital Partners (“Crosspoint Capital”), Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (“CPP Investments”), GIC Private Limited (“GIC”), and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (“ADIA”) (collectively, “the Investor Group”).
As part of the transaction, the Investor Group will acquire all outstanding shares of McAfee common stock for $26.00 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $12 billion on an equity value basis, and over $14 billion on an enterprise value basis after giving effect to repayment of McAfee debt. The purchase price represents a premium of approximately 22.6% over McAfee’s closing share price of $21.21 on November 4, 2021, the last trading day prior to media reports regarding a potential sale of McAfee.
Upon completion of the transaction, the Investor Group will take ownership of McAfee. As a privately held company, McAfee will continue building on its success and proven track record of growth as a pure-play consumer cybersecurity leader following the sale of McAfee’s Enterprise business, and the associated one-time dividend of $4.50 per share, to private equity firm Symphony Technology Group for $4.0 billion, which closed on July 27, 2021.
“This transaction is a testament to McAfee’s market-leading online protection solutions, our talented employees, and outstanding customers and partners,” said McAfee President and Chief Executive Officer, Peter Leav. “We want to thank our employees for their continued hard work and commitment to McAfee. We are thrilled to be partnering with premier firms who truly understand the cybersecurity landscape and have a proven track record of success.”
In 2017, TPG partnered with Intel to carve out McAfee from Intel’s core operations to establish a pure-play cybersecurity company with access to significant capital, operational and technology resources. McAfee completed its initial public offering last year, with TPG and Intel remaining as shareholders in the company.
Jon Winkelried, Chief Executive Officer of TPG and Chair of the McAfee Board, commented: “Today’s announcement signals continued growth and opportunity for McAfee. Over the last four years, the company has expanded its product portfolio, enhanced its go-to-market strategy, and pursued strategic M&A, including the divestiture of its enterprise business. We’re proud that today McAfee is a leading consumer cybersecurity franchise, protecting the digital lives of 20 million subscribers across the globe.”
Tim Millikin, Partner at TPG and McAfee Board member, added: “It’s been a privilege to have partnered with McAfee and its leadership team to help navigate the company’s transformation and growth over the last four years. Our partnership with McAfee reflects TPG’s focus on investing in growth to build companies that are driving differentiated value in their markets.”
“McAfee is one of the most trusted brands in the essential business of consumer digital protection,” said Bryan Taylor, Head of Advent’s Technology Investment Team and a Managing Partner in Palo Alto. “As consumers face new and complex cyber risks, we see tremendous opportunity to build on McAfee’s differentiated technology platform to continue delivering innovative solutions that can protect all facets of the digital lives of people around the world. We look forward to working alongside our investment partners and the talented McAfee team to continue setting the bar for consumer digital protection.”
Brian Ruder, Co-Head of Technology at Permira, commented: “The need for personalised, innovative, and intuitive online protection services has never been greater. McAfee boasts an enviable brand, extensive partner ecosystem, loyal customer base and a rigorous commitment to product development. With our extensive experience in scaling global consumer technology and cybersecurity businesses, we are excited to work closely with McAfee and our fellow investors to help position the company for even greater heights.”
Greg Clark, Managing Partner at Crosspoint Capital and former Chief Executive Officer of Symantec added: “The risks that consumers face from all aspects of their digital lives is immense, and these risks are unprecedented and rapidly increasing. Consumers buy from brands they trust, and with the globally recognised brand of McAfee, we see the long term opportunity to deliver products and services to address these risks in all aspects of their digital presence.”
Collectively, the Investor Group will provide McAfee with both financial and operational resources to further enhance its consumer offering and capture the rapid growth in consumer demand for digital protection services. McAfee’s strong brand awareness, diversified distribution model and customer-centric approach has made it a clear leader in the rapidly evolving consumer online protection space. The Investor Group will support McAfee as it continues to broaden its differentiated online protection solutions and drive long-term value through market expansion.
Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved by the McAfee Board of Directors, McAfee shareholders will receive $26.00 in cash for each share of common stock they own.
The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions, including, among others, approval by McAfee shareholders, receipt of regulatory approvals, and clearance by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Intel Americas, Inc. and certain funds affiliated with TPG Global, LLC have entered into a voting agreement pursuant to which they have agreed, among other things, to vote their shares of company stock in favor of the transaction, subject to certain conditions. The voting support under the voting agreement ceases automatically if the merger agreement is terminated or if the McAfee board makes an adverse recommendation change. These stockholders currently represent approximately 67.9% of the current outstanding voting power of the McAfee common stock.
Consistent with the McAfee Board’s commitment to maximising stockholder value, under the terms of the definitive merger agreement, McAfee’s Board and advisors may actively initiate, solicit and consider alternative acquisition proposals during a 45-day “go shop” period. McAfee has the right to terminate the merger agreement to accept a superior proposal during the go-shop period, subject to the terms and conditions of the merger agreement. There can be no assurances that this process will result in a superior proposal, and McAfee does not intend to disclose developments with respect to this solicitation process unless and until McAfee’s Board makes a determination requiring further disclosure.
The buyer entity in the merger, Condor BidCo, Inc. (“Parent”), has obtained equity financing and debt financing commitments for the purpose of financing the transactions contemplated by the merger agreement. Funds advised by the Investor Group have committed to capitalise Parent at the closing of the merger with an aggregate equity contribution equal to $5.2 billion on the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in signed equity commitment letters.
The Investor Group has obtained a commitment from JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Bank of America, N.A., Credit Suisse AG, Cayman Islands Branch, Barclays Bank PLC, Citibank, N.A. (and/or its affiliates), HSBC Bank USA, National Association, Royal Bank of Canada, CPPIB Credit Investments III Inc., UBS AG, Stamford Branch and PSP Investments Credit II USA LLC to provide debt financing consisting of a $6.66 billion first lien term loan facility, a $1 billion first lien cash flow revolving facility and a $2.32 billion senior unsecured bridge facility (which may be replaced with senior notes issued through a Rule 144A or other private placement), subject, in each case, to customary conditions. PSP Investments Credit USA LLC and investment funds managed by Neuberger Berman have agreed to provide the Investor Group with preferred equity financing with an aggregate liquidation preference of up to $800 million, subject to customary conditions.
Upon completion of the transaction, McAfee common stock will no longer be listed on any public securities exchange.
Third Quarter Earnings Conference Call Update
Separately, McAfee will announce today its third quarter financial results, which will be available on the “Investor Relations” section of the McAfee website. In light of the announced transaction with the Investor Group, McAfee has cancelled the earnings call previously scheduled for Tuesday, November 9, 2021.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC are serving as financial advisors to McAfee and Ropes & Gray and Moulton Moore Stella are serving as legal counsel. JP Morgan Securities LLC, BofA Securities, Inc., Barclays Capital Inc. and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. are serving as financial advisors, with Bryant Stibel Group serving as strategic operating advisors to the Investor Group. Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson are acting as M&A legal counsel and Kirkland & Ellis are acting as Finance legal counsel to the Investor Group.
The debt financing for the transaction is being provided by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Bank of America, N.A., BofA Securities, Inc., Credit Suisse AG, Cayman Islands Branch, Credit Suisse Loan Funding LLC, Barclays Bank PLC, Citigroup Global Markets Inc., HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., HSBC Bank USA, National Association, Royal Bank of Canada, RBC Capital Markets LLC, CPPIB Credit Investments III Inc., UBS AG, Stamford Branch, UBS Securities LLC and PSP Investments Credit II USA LLC, and the preferred equity financing is being arranged and provided by PSP Investments Credit USA LLC and investment funds managed by Neuberger Berman.