Two big names in digital security are coming together in a new acquisition. Arizona-based NortonLifeLock Inc. is acquiring and combining with Avast PLC, a cybersecurity firm based in Prague, in an $8 billion cash-and-stock deal.
Avast’s shareholders have agreed to a combination of cash and shares of NortonLifeLock, newly issued, of course. The deal has an equity value between $8.1 and $8.6 million and will likely close sometime in mid-2022. The two companies have been in advanced discussions since July.
NortonLifeLock was previously Symantec Corp. before a $10.7 billion deal that sold its enterprise security firm to Broadcom two years ago. Now it focuses on pushing LifeLock’s identity-theft protection services and Norton’s antivirus software. Similarly, Avast’s security software will act as a natural extension of NortonLifeLock’s offerings.
Vincent Pilette, NortonLifeLock’s CEO, said, “With this combination, we can strengthen our cyber safety platform and make it available to more than 500 million users. We will also have the ability to further accelerate innovation to transform cyber safety.” Pilette will remain CEO, and NortonLifeLock’s finance chief will also stay in position. Avast’s CEO, Ondřej Vlček, will join NortonLifeLock as president and a board member.
The coalescence of the two companies comes at just the right time, with various ransomware and other malicious attacks on the rise. While such attacks are primarily business-focused, they can also affect individual consumers as well. Hopefully, together both services will be a larger force capable of helping to bolster global digital security.