Network Associates To Buy Out Remaining McAfee.com Shares


In another major restructuring move, Network Associates Monday unveiled a buyout plan to merge antivirus ASP McAfee.com into the corporate fold.

Network Associates, based here, said it plans to acquire all outstanding publicly held shares of McAfee.com, Sunnyvale, Calif. The company owns 75 percent of McAfee.com.

"This recombination is intended to deliver on the promise we made 14 months ago to focus Network Associates on customer needs, eliminate confusion across business units, and streamline our operations," George Samenuk, Network Associates CEO and chairman, said in a statement.

The company said it will offer McAfee.com stockholders 0.675 shares of Network Associates common stock in a tax-free exchange for each outstanding share of McAfee.com.

Network Associates spun off McAfee.com as a publicly traded company in December 1999. McAfee.com provides antivirus protection and other security services to consumers and small businesses over the Web while Network Associates' McAfee division targets the enterprise market.

In a conference call with analysts, Samenuk said the separate McAfee operations caused confusion in the marketplace.

"This recombination gives us the ability to really straighten out where McAfee fits for all sizes of our customers," he said.

In addition to reducing brand confusion, merging the two companies will help eliminate conflict between the companies' sales forces and more effectively target the consumer and SMB markets, he said.

The merger is the latest step in a corporate overhaul Samenuk has led since he took the helm at Network Associates in January 2001.

Last year, the company pulled its enterprise security ASP, mycio.com, back into the corporate fold. It also dissolved its PGP Security unit, selling off its Gauntlet firewall product line and integrating PGP technology into its McAfee line.