NortonLifeLock, Avast confirm multi-billion merger to form new antivirus giant

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

NortonLifeLock has agreed to acquire fellow antivirus firm Avast in a multi-billion dollar merger.

The news was confirmed by both companies, with the price of the deal set to be between $8.1 and $8.6 billion, “depending on Avast shareholders’ elections.”

Both headquarters will remain operational, with the newly merged company being dual-headquartered in both Prague, Czech Republic, and Tempe, Arizona. It is expected to have more than 500 million customers and to deliver more than $280 million in annual cost savings within three years’ time. 

Avast was founded in Prague in 1988 before going public in 2018 on the London Stock Exchange, where it was valued at approximately $3 billion, making it one of the UK’s biggest technology listings at the time. 

Once the deal is finalized, Avast shareholders will receive a combination of cash and newly issued NortonLifeLock shares. The exact combination of cash and shares depends, as the deal offers multiple choices.

Booming industry

NortonLifeLock’s Chief Executive Officer, Vincent Pilette, will keep his position at the newly-merged company, with Avast CEO Ondrej Vlcek joining as president and board member.

“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,” Vlcek said.

Cybersecurity has become a hugely successful industry in recent years, with its importance only growing faster during the pandemic. Cybercriminals are trying to take advantage of the fact that most employees nowadays work remotely, targeting both enterprises, and SMBs with malware, ransomware and DDoS attacks. 

Today’s SMBs need to pay attention not only to the strength of their defense systems, but also to the identities of people and devices logging onto corporate networks remotely. While Norton focuses more on identity protection, Avast is more oriented towards antivirus solutions. Now, the two companies hope to provide “a more comprehensive portfolio” to their customers. 

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.