4 November 2021
The American software company NortonLifeLock has announced that it will take over the Czech multinational antivirus company Avast. According to The Financial Times, the American cyber company will pay up to 8.6 billion USD (approx. 186.3 billion CZK) for the deal. The merger will be completed no earlier than in the next nine to ten months. The merged company will be renamed in the process. The new name has, however, not yet been publicized.
Both firms first announced their talks on a merger in July. In a joint statement made by the two firms on Tuesday, they said Avast shareholders would be offered a combination of monetary compensation and newly issued shares in NortonLifeLock.
According to the agreement terms, the current Avast CEO Ondřej Vlček will join NortonLifeLock as a board member and president. Pavel Baudiš, a co-founder and current director of Avast, is expected to join the board as an independent director. The current CEO of NortonLifeLock, Vincent Pilette, will be named chief executive officer in the merged company.
“Both our companies have the vision of a joint platform”, said NortonLifeLock CEO Vincent Pilette. According to his statement, NortonLifeLock excels in identity theft protection, while Avast is a leader in user privacy.
Avast CEO Ondřej Vlček perceives the benefits of the merger in a similar way. “A world leader in end-user cybersecurity will emerge, combining the strength of Avast in privacy protection and NortonLifeLock in identity protection,” Vlček said in a press release.
The Avast takeover is historically the largest acquisition of any Czech-founded firm, according to Trinity Bank chief economist Lukáš Kovanda. “Shares of the antivirus company Avast are growing by around 3.2 percent today, both on the Prague and London stock exchanges. The market is therefore exhibiting a positive reaction to the news of Avast takeover by the American software company NortonLifeLock,” he added. According to Kovanda, the acquisition is expected to significantly help NortonLifeLock accelerate year-over-year global sales growth to more than ten percent. As part of the transaction, Avast shareholders will receive NortonLifeLock stock and cash.
The CEO of Avast also emphasized that this is a merger, not an acquisition of one of the companies. And the newly merged company will count among the twenty largest software companies in the world, according to Vlček. Avast’s current shareholders will own 14 to 26 percent of the new company, he added.
The new company will be based in Prague and Tempe, Arizona. It plans to offer its services to more than 500 million users. “Thanks to the merger, the two companies will achieve gross expense savings in the amount of approximately 280 million USD (about 6 billion CZK) and the merger will also create potential synergies on the revenue side ensuing from opportunities on new markets,” Vlček said. "We aim to use them (the savings) partly to fund new investment projects worth 80 to 100 million USD (1.7-2.2 billion CZK), mainly projects related to research and development, innovations and business growth," he added. The product brands Norton and Avast will be maintained, according to his statement. Avast is a Czech antivirus multinational that has been operating on the market since 1988 and whose shares are listed on stock exchanges in Prague and London. It is one of the pioneers in the field of cybersecurity, providing security programs for computers and mobile devices. Its products are used by over 435 million users all around the world, in large majority free of charge.
The Grand Opening of Avast's new Silicon Valley-style headquarters was a gala event! Take a look at the great party when we celebrated our inspirational company culture and the innovative security that protects millions of people worldwide. Cheers!