US network protection firm gains Avast for more than $8 billion

  • The deal “is a huge breakthrough for consumer cyber safety”: Norton CEO.
  • Over 500 million users to profit from the new group’s safety offerings.
  • The combined company to be dual headquartered in Prague and Tempe.


LONDON: To make a number one consumer business after the pandemic fuelled online activity, US cybersecurity giant NortonLifeLock is to shop for Czech rival Avast for over $8 billion, the businesses announced Wednesday.

The deal, like quite 6.7 billion euros, “is an enormous breakthrough for consumer cyber safety and can ultimately enable us to realize our vision to guard and empower people to measure their digital lives safely”, Norton chief executive Vincent Pilette said during a joint statement.

Ondrej Vlcek, chief executive of London-listed Avast, said that amid increasing global cyber threats, the tie-up would leave “enhanced solutions and services, with improved capabilities”.

More than 500 million users will enjoy the new group’s safety offerings, the statement added.

Pilette was set to become chief executive of the expanded group, while Vlcek is to hitch NortonLifeLock as president and become a member of the NortonLifeLock board.

The combined company, to be listed on the Nasdaq, is going to be dual headquartered in Prague and Tempe, Arizona.

Businesses worldwide are at threat from an increasingly lucrative sort of digital hostage-taking, or ransomware attacks, that typically see hackers encrypting victims’ data then demanding money for restored access.

A massive ransomware attack on US tech firm Kaseya in July affected businesses from pharmacies to gas stations in a minimum of 17 countries.

While Kaseya was little known to the general public, analysts say it had been a ripe target as its software is employed by around 40,000 businesses, allowing the hackers to paralyze many companies with one blow.

“At a time when global cyber threats are growing, yet cyber safety penetration remains very low, alongside NortonLifeLock, we’ll be ready to accelerate our shared vision of providing holistic cyber protection for consumers around the globe,” Vlcek added Wednesday.

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