Avast and NortonLifeLock set for $8 billion antivirus mega-merger

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Two of the world's largest cybersecurity (opens in new tab) firms have confirmed that they are in advanced stages of merger talks.

Both Avast (opens in new tab) and NortonLifeLock (opens in new tab) released statements confirming their plans, but added there was no certainty that a deal would be agreed. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the talks, the merger between the Nasdaq-listed Norton, which is the larger of the two, would value the London-listed Avast at $8 billion. 

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In a statement, NortonLifeLock said the deal would bring together “two companies with aligned visions”. Reuters argues that the combination of the two vendors would create a clear leader in consumer security software. 

Sign of the times

The recent spate of cyber attacks on businesses (opens in new tab), along with the shift towards hybrid work (opens in new tab) environments, has had a positive impact on the bottom-line of security companies.

Remote working (opens in new tab) has spurred demand for Avast’s desktop products such as its antivirus software (opens in new tab), which has helped the company record a 7.1% organic growth in adjusted billings to $922 million last year, according to Reuters.

Avast’s freemium software reportedly had 435 million active users at the end of 2020, of which 16.5 million paid for premium add-ons. NortonLifeLock, previously known as Symantec Corp (opens in new tab), before it sold its enterprise-security business to Broadcom in 2019, has a wider portfolio of products that also includes identity theft protection (opens in new tab) services.

Norton has until the second week of August to make its final offer to Avast, adds Reuters.

Via Reuters (opens in new tab)

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.