Globe with data tracking and McAfee logo
Source: McAfee Twitter

Antivirus Software Company McAfee Is Owned by Its Shareholders

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Jun. 24 2021, Published 2:11 p.m. ET

Anti-virus software company McAfee has changed hands a few times since founder John McAfee left the company in 1994. Currently, the company is owned by its shareholders. 

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McAfee went public in October 2020, ironically around the same time that its founder was arrested and jailed in Spain for tax evasion charges in the U.S. 

John McAfee
Source: Getty Images
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John McAfee was found dead on June 23 in a Spanish jail cell where he was awaiting extradition to the U.S. According to The Wall Street Journal, Spanish authorities said that McAfee’s death was most likely a suicide.

John McAfee founded the antivirus software company in 1987.

McAfee, a former NASA programmer, founded the cybersecurity company in 1987 under McAfee Associates. He resigned from the company in 1994. After McAfee left the company, he became a critic of the very software he created and urged people to uninstall it from their computers. 

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McAfee had its first IPO in 1999.

The company’s first bid to going public through an IPO was in December 1999. The first McAfee IPO raised $75 million by selling 6.25 million shares at $12 per share. However, the public listing ended in 2010 when tech giant Intel bought the company. 

Intel bought McAfee for $7.68 billion.

Intel bought McAfee for a reported $7.68 billion and renamed the company Intel Security. However, things with the software company didn’t go as well as Intel officials had expected. 

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In 2017, Intel sold a 51 percent stake in McAfee to the asset management firm TPG for $4.2 billion. Under the deal, McAfee became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intel. Intel officials continued looking at options to unload the security software company. Private equity company Thoma Bravo also became a minor investor in McAfee in 2017.

McAfee went public again in 2020

In October 2020, McAfee went public again. This time around, the shares in the company were priced at $20 per share and 37 million shares were sold, which resulted in a total of $740 million raised. 

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McAfee now trades on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “MCFE.” On June 24, the shares in the company were trading at about $28.47. 

McAfee sells the enterprise security side of the business.

McAfee’s public listing doesn’t mean that the company has stopped selling parts of its business. In March, McAfee officials announced that they were selling the enterprise business side of the company for $4 billion to the private equity group Symphony Technology Group. 

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Source: Twitter

The move was an attempt by the company to refocus the McAfee brand on its consumer business. 

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"This transaction will allow McAfee to singularly focus on our consumer business and to accelerate our strategy to be a leader in personal security for consumers," said McAfee chief executive Peter Leav in a statement.

McAfee reported a 25 percent increase in revenue for 2021.

In its earnings statement for the first quarter of 2021, McAfee reported $442 million in net revenue, which is a 25 percent increase YoY. The software company ended the quarter with 18.9 million subscribers, including 885,000 new subscribers who signed on within the first three months of the year. 

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“McAfee achieved significant increases in revenue, subscribers, profitability and cash flow to start Fiscal 2021. We continue to secure our customers’ ever-increasing digital footprint as people are living more of their lives online. I am very pleased with our team’s continued execution across all regions,” said Leav in a statement.

If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the ​National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

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