Avast Closes Acquisition Of AVG, Looks To Create A 'Global Powerhouse'

Avast Software has closed its acquisition of AVG, the company announced Friday, a move CEO Vince Steckler said will allow the two traditional security software companies to better compete in today’s competitive endpoint security market.

Avast first announced the acquisition in July, saying it planned to acquire AVG for $1.3 billion. The deal brings AVG’s anti-virus, remote monitoring and management, Internet security, mobile security and cloud security offerings to Avast’s own anti-virus, mobile security, email security and file server offerings. In total, the combined companies will protect 400 million endpoints, of which 160 are mobile.

In an interview with CRN, CEO Vince Steckler said the acquisition creates a ’global powerhouse’ in the consumer security market, with a ’massive footprint’ in free and freemium security. On the corporate side, Steckler said the companies’ partners will benefit from having access to a larger portfolio of security solutions.

[Related: Partners Hope Avast-AVG Deal Will Spur Investments In Both Companies' Technology]

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That scale, breadth of portfolio and geographic reach will be key as Avast looks to weather a rapidly changing and maturing security market, Steckler said. At the time the acquisition was announced, Avast said acquiring AVG would allow it "to gain scale, technological depth and geographical breadth,’ allowing it to "be in a position to take advantage of emerging growth opportunities in Internet security," as well as organizational efficiencies.

’This gives us a huge ability to thrive in a more difficult market going forward,’ Steckler told CRN.

Stecker said there is a ’fair amount’ of overlap in the two companies' business processes, as well as a ’fair amount’ of overlap in the product portfolios. He said AVG and Avast will run two separate brands in the consumer space going forward, with a combined security engine on the back end that will be available starting in January. Steckler said Avast has not yet decided whether it will combine the brands of the two corporate portfolios.

’We do have synergies there, but we are sorting through that now and we have to socialize it with staff as to what it is and what it means. I think it will be later this year before we start announcing doing anything there,’ Steckler said.

Steckler said the two companies will operate under a single partner program, likely incorporating Avast’s partners into the AVG program, which he said has a ’much bigger partner network.’ Both sets of partners will have access to the full set of solutions of both vendors under the combined program, he said.

’It should be good for the partners. There’s nothing being taken away …They will have access to more products and access to more customers, as some customers have a preference as to what security products they buy. It gives them more things in their bag to sell,’ Steckler said.

Jason Lee, vice president of commercial services at Epsilon Technology Solutions of Weaverville, N.C., and a long-time AVG partner, said he looks forward to the scale, product innovation and overall company maturity that will come from the acquisition, as AVG has done in the past with acquisitions of Level Platforms and other companies.

’I think this is a great thing,’ Lee said. ’I’m excited to see where this is going.’

In particular, Lee said he looks forward to the increased security innovations that will come from the combined companies, as well as making it easier for customers to consume those innovations.

’I think the product development is on the right track…There is so much depth and breadth to RMM and the anti-virus and security products and how those pieces come together to form the full puzzle … With the experience of AVG and Avast, they have been getting granular and more purposeful in how that content is disseminated and allow [customers] to consume it better,’ Lee said.

The vision, Steckler said, is to create a company in five years that's well-positioned in mobile security to tackle the BYOD challenges facing businesses, as well as with the scale to outlast any market changes in anti-virus. He also assured partners that they would remain a part of that vision.

Stckler's message to partners? ’Don’t worry. It’s going to be better than what you had in the past."