Cyber security software vendor NortonLifeLock has confirmed it is in “advanced discussions” to acquire fellow channel security player Avast.
Reports suggest Avast could go under the hammer in a deal worth over $8bn.
It is the latest potential twist in the ownership merry-go-round that is happening in the cyber security software space.
Last month, FireEye said it would be selling off its security products business, including the FireEye name. The FireEye products business is being sold to an investment consortium led by Symphony Technology Group (STG) in a $1.2bn all-cash transaction.
STG acquired RSA last year and this March announced the purchase of the enterprise sales unit of McAfee for $4bn.
The FireEye deal will separate FireEye’s network, email, endpoint and cloud security products, along with the related security management and orchestration platform, from the firm's higher-growth Mandiant Solutions software and services unit.
NortonLifeLock is the consumer software unit that was left when Broadcom bought the enterprise software unit of Symantec in 2019 for $10.7bn.
It said it and Avast have “aligned visions, highly complementary business profiles and a joint commitment to innovation”.
Any takeover of Avast could involve a cash and share offer for the entire issued share capital of the company. London-listed Avast saw its shares go up on the confirmed potential acquisition after previous press speculation.
NortonLifeLock’s statement in response to this speculation however stresses it “does not amount to an announcement of a firm intention”. It says it has until 11 August to either make an offer or walk away.