NortonLifeLock( one of the global leaders in cyber safety) and Avast (one of the global leaders in digital security and privacy) recently announced that they have reached an agreement on the terms of a merger worth more than $8 billion. According to reports, Norton will acquire all shares of Avast and will create a larger cybersecurity firm. ”Great merger. The combination of Avast’s product line with the power of LifeLock personal monitoring is a great combination for the channel”, said Michael Goldstein of LAN Infotech.
”Based on NortonLifeLock’s closing share price of USD 27.20 on July 13, 2021 (being the last trading day for NortonLifeLock shares before market speculation began in relation to the merger on July 14, 2021, resulting in the commencement of the offer period), the merger values Avast’s entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital between approximately USD 8.1B and USD 8.6B, depending on Avast shareholders’ elections.”
The agreement comes nearly one month after both companies provided confirmation they were discussing a possible merger of both companies, which are publicly listed.
According to the terms of the merger deal, Avast shareholders will receive a combination of cash consideration and newly issued shares in NortonLifeLock. The new company, which has not been named, will serve over 500 million users, including 40 million direct customers.
Transforming Cyber Safety
Vincent Pilette, NortonLifeLock CEO, said:
“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.
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.”
Ondřej Vlček, Chief Executive Officer of Avast said:
“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.
“Our talented teams will have better opportunities to innovate and develop enhanced solutions and services, with improved capabilities from access to superior data insights. Through our well-established brands, greater geographic diversification and access to a larger global user base, the combined businesses will be poised to access the significant growth opportunity that exists worldwide.”
For quite some time, many online platforms have been facing various cyber threats and cyberattacks. The data of millions of users on different platforms and systems has been compromised. Ransomware continues to be on the rise. Cybercriminals are able to hide malware in different systems and applications, and consumers are often the victims when databases that have financial information and personal information are compromised.
IT leaders and experts are hoping this merger leads to a more powerful cybersecurity protection product. The new product will include the benefits of Avast’s and NortonLifeLock’s. Cybersecurity continues to be crucial for consumers and businesses of all sizes, and there is hope that this step will lead to a more safe and secure life on the internet.
”The cybersecurity industry is a team effort to combat the latest cybersecurity threats. Therefore, it is a great idea to combine the resources to fight for the same cause. The merger between NortonLifeLock and Avast will strengthen the cyber safety platform and provide it to many combined users. Furthermore, the merger should lead to antivirus products that include the benefits of Avast’s focus on privacy and NortonLifeLock’s experience in identity, all at a time when cybersecurity is critical for both consumers and businesses”, said Dr. Bennet Hammer, President of Hammer IT Consulting, Inc.
Securing The Digital Landscape
NortonLifeLock, has promoted paid safety and anti-identity theft solutions for many years, whereas Avast has promoted both paid and free antivirus solutions. The merger combines Avast’s focus on privacy and NortonLifeLock’s focus on identification, producing a complementary product
”Both these companies have largely been playing in the end consumer space. This segment has increasingly gotten more aware of the need for cybersecurity when it comes to protecting personal data. Also, these products are quite complementary to each other, wherein Avast helps prevent the breach and LifeLock comes in when a potential breach has happened already. We see this is quite a synergistic and strategic merger and a win for our customers as the merged entity comes out with a more holistic solutions that are inherently complementary to each other”, said Ashu Singhal who runs Orion Networks, an IT support company in Maryland.
”Mergers are usually a doubled-edged sword. From a “business standpoint,” these companies saw great value in joining forces. One saw an opportunity to innovate, another saw money (in many different forms). But what does this mean for the customers using the lower-end security? Does this mean they must now pay fees? The cyber world gets more complicated every day and perhaps it is time the consumer world embraces the reality of paying for personal cyber, much the same way the consumer pays for home/auto/life insurance. The work from home paradigm shift is going to accelerate this. I am sure LifeLock looks at this as perfect timing and, from a marketing perspective, is tremendous branding for them. It builds their reputation and expands their product set”, said Mike Shelah of Advantage Industries.
”Also, acquiring the Avast database is a huge win. What I personally want to see from this merger is real innovation to bring enterprise-class service and solutions to the typical family or individual”, added Shelah.
While the latest information did not reveal any specific or particular product plans, consumers and organizations should not be surprised if NortonLifeLock begins providing Avast solutions and vice-versa.
As mentioned previously, the new name following the merger has not been released. However, it will function by means of twin headquarters at NortonLifeLock’s main location in Arizona and Avast’s main operations, which lies within the Czech Republic. The deal is predicted to be completed in mid-2022 after regulatory approval is finalized. What are your expectations on the merger? What impact do you think it will have on the cybersecurity and digital landscapes?
Donald Korinchak is a Cybersecurity Professional in the Washington DC area. Donald holds an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh Katz School of Business. Donald is considered a thought leader in business, leadership, and cybersecurity issues.