US NortonLifeLock to buy Czech anti-virus company Avast in $8bn deal

US NortonLifeLock to buy Czech anti-virus company Avast in $8bn deal
By bne IntelliNews August 11, 2021

The US software company NortonLifeLock confirmed on August 10 a merger with Czech anti-virus company Avast, in the form of a recommended offer by NortonLifeLock, according to its press release. The value of the transaction is to be between approximately $8.1bn and $8.6bn, depending on the outcome of a vote of Avast shareholders.

“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,” said NortonLifeLock chief executive officer Vincent Pilette. 

“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,” said Avast CEO Ondrej Vlcek.

The combined company will be headquartered in the Czech capital Prague and Tempe in the US, and it will be listed on Nasdaq. 

“With this combination, we can strengthen our cyber safety platform and make it available to more than 500mn users. We will also have the ability to further accelerate innovation to transform cyber safety” Pilette added. 

Avast is a global company in digital security and privacy products, with over 435mn users online. The company offers products under the Avast and AVG brands that protect people from threats on the internet and the evolving IoT threat landscape. It has been listed in London and Prague since May 2018, when it became the biggest float since July 2017 for the London Stock Exchange. 

On August 11, the company published its 1H21 results. Its operating profit (adjusted Ebitda) increased by 11.9% year-on-year to $270.2mn at the end of June. The revenues went up by 8.8% y/y to $471.3mn. 

“In line with the board’s expectations, we are pleased to report a resilient set of group results for the 1H21, against the backdrop of a strong prior year performance. The group delivered double-digit organic revenue growth and sustained high levels of profitability with an adjusted Ebitda margin at 57.3%,” Vlcek commented on results.