Consumer cybersecurity companies NortonLifeLock and Avast have announced an agreement for the Tempe-based cyber safety company to buy the digital security privacy company. NortonLifeLock’s closing share price was $27.20 as of July 13, 2021 — the last trading day before market speculation began — meaning the merger values between $8.1 bn and $8.6 bn.
According to a statement released yesterday (August 10 2021), under the terms of the merger, Avast shareholders will be entitled to receive a combination of cash consideration as well as newly issued shares in NortonLifeLock. The boards of both companies have said they believe the merger has a compelling “strategic and financial rationale” and will represent an attractive opportunity to create a “new industry-leading consumer cyber safety business.”
“This transaction is a huge step forward for consumer cyber safety and will ultimately enable us to achieve our vision to protect and empower people to live their digital lives safely,” says Vincent Pilette, chief executive officer of NortonLifeLock. “With this combination, we can strengthen our cyber safety platform and make it available to more than 500 million users.”
Both companies have a legacy within the cybersecurity space. NortonLifeLock, formally known as Symantec, is known for its consumer cyber safety software, Norton360. Avast is known for its free antivirus software and subscriptions such as Avast Ultimate.
The merger will see Avast’s chief executive officer, Ondřej Vlček, join NortonLifeLock as president and a member of the company’s board of directors. Pilette and chief financial officer, Natalie Derse, will remain in their positions at NortonLifeLock. Pavel Baudiš, co-founder and current director of Avast, is also expected to join NortonLifeLock’s board as an independent director.
The completion of the merger will see the companies be dual headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic and Tempe, Arizona, U.S. The combined company will also be listed on NASDAQ.
Speaking on the merger, Vlček says, “At a time when global cyber threats are growing, yet cyber safety penetration remains very low, together with NortonLifeLock, we will be able to accelerate our shared vision of providing holistic cyber protection for consumers around the globe.
“Our talented teams will have better opportunities to innovate and develop enhanced solutions and services, with improved capabilities from access to superior data insights. Through our well-established brands, greater geographic diversification and access to a larger global user base, the combined businesses will be poised to access the significant growth opportunity that exists worldwide.”