NortonLifeLock, formerly known as Symantect, is the company behind the popular Norton Antivirus and has just shaken up the cybersecurity industry by announcing it is buying rival Avast in a deal worth up to $8.6 billion in stock and cash.
The move aims to make the company an industry leader by combining the portfolios of more than 500 million customers of both companies. In July Reuters reported that Norton and Avast were discussing a merger, however, what will happen is that Norton will buy all of Avast’s shares and the resulting entity will be listed on the US stock index.
A giant that will earn around $900 million quarterly
Vincent Pilette, CEO of NortonLifeLock, said his company’s strongest point is identity theft protection, while Avast is strong in privacy. Avast was founded and is headquartered in Prague in the Czech Republic, its shares on the London and Prague stock exchanges surged more than 4% when the deal was announced.
Symantec sold its enterprise business to Broadcom in 2019 to focus on consumers, which is when they changed their name to NortonLifeLock. The company’s main business is selling different antivirus, antispyware, and premium antimalware products.
For its part, Avast has always been a pioneer of the “freemium” model, many know the company as the creator of one of the most popular and reliable free antivirus products for Windows. By the end of 2020, Avast had some 435 million active users, of which 16.5 million pay for premium features.
The new organisation resulting from this acquisition is estimated to have quarterly revenues of $900 million. The new combined company will be headquartered in both Prague and Tempe, Arizona in the United States.
This is the fourth largest transaction so far in 2021 in the technology sector, trailing only the nearly $20bn paid at Microsoft for speech recognition company Nuance, the $14.7bn Zoom paid for cloud contact centre software provider Five9, and the $12bn Thoma Bravo paid for Proofpoint.