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Intel Sells a Majority Stake of Cybersecurity Unit to TPG

SAN FRANCISCO — McAfee, once one of the household names in computer security software, is poised to become an independent business once more.

Intel, which bought McAfee for $ 7.7 billion six years ago, announced on Wednesday that it had sold a majority stake in its cybersecurity business to the investment firm TPG, in a transaction valuing the security provider at about $ 4.2 billion, including debt.

The move will bring McAfee independence at a time when cybersecurity businesses have grown more prominent amid seemingly omnipresent hacking threats.

Under the terms of the deal, McAfee will borrow money to pay an approximately $ 2 billion dividend to Intel, which will retain a 49 percent stake in the business. TPG will pay $ 1.1 billion in cash for a 51 percent stake.

The business, currently called Intel Security, will once again adopt the McAfee name when the deal closes, which is expected in the second quarter of 2017.

TPG has long expressed interest in cybersecurity applications, having already invested in two start-ups through its growth equity arm. But 10 months ago, its flagship private equity division approached Intel about potentially spinning out the cybersecurity business.

For Intel, which in recent years has focused more on businesses like cloud software and Internet-connected devices, selling a majority stake in McAfee would free the Silicon Valley giant to spend more time on core areas while still retaining a foothold in the cybersecurity world.

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NYT > Technology

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