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Breaking: Norton buys Avast in $8 billion merger deal

Following on from news of merger talks last month, NortonLifeLock has confirmed that it is buying Avast in a deal that values the Czech-based and London stock exchange listed firm at up to $8.6bn (£6.2bn).

In a joint statement the companies say that the combined business will serve more than 500 million cybersecurity customers, including around 40 million direct customers.

“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,” says Vincent Pilette, chief executive officer of NortonLifeLock. “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.”

The deal is seen as an opportunity to create a new, industry-leading consumer cyber safety business, building on the established brands, technology and innovation of both groups to deliver benefits to consumers, shareholders, and other stakeholders.

“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,” says Ondřej Vlček, chief executive officer of Avast. “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.”

NortonLifeLock’s Vincent Pilette, will remain CEO, while Avast’s Ondřej Vlček is expected to join NortonLifeLock as president and become a member of the board of directors. Pavel Baudiš, a co-founder and current director of Avast, is also expected to join the NortonLifeLock Board as an independent director.

There’s no word on whether the existing brands will continue or whether we’ll see the creation of a Norvast or Avorton.

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