Tencent Technologies News, according to foreign media reports, along with this year's record first public offering boom, network security software company McAfee also plans to return to the stock market.
McAfee and all of them will meet with investment banks this week to discuss plans for a possible listing as soon as this year, sources said Wednesday. According to one of the people familiar with the matter, initial public offerings can raise at least $1 billion and value McAfee at more than $5 billion. But there is no guarantee that McAfee will be able to make an initial public offering at a valuation of $5 billion.
McAfee currently belongs to private equity firms TPG and Thoma Bravo, as well as Intel. When TPG bought 51% of McAfee from Intel in 2016 and built the company into an independent company, it was valued at $2.15 billion, including debt, at $4.2 billion. McAfee went public in 1999 and Intel bought the company for about $7.5 billion in 2011.
According to sources, under current ownership, McAfee has increased cash flow by changing its business strategy and acquisitions - a matter of close concern to public investors. McAfee acquired cloud security provider Skyhigh Networks and VPN service provider TunnelBear in 2018.
Sources said McAfee owners had considered selling the company outright in the past, and eventually they might choose to do so instead of an initial public offering. Nevertheless, owners are optimistic about the prospects of initial public offerings, in part because of the company's recent relatively good performance in some of its closest public comparisons, including Symantec, Avast and Palo Alto Networks.
The initial public offering market has been strong, especially for some technology companies. According to Dealogic, the number of initial public offerings of technology companies in the first half of 2019 was the largest in nearly 20 years. McAfee's initial public offering will also take place at a time when investors in the public market are interested in network security. CrowdStrike, a cloud-based security software maker, is trading at almost twice its current price of $34 when it went public last month. The technology sector also provides fertile ground for private equity firms. Thoma Bravo, a software-focused company, acquired ConnectWise, Imperva and Veracode in 2019 alone.