its initial public offering late Wednesday at $20 a share and raised $740 million from the sale of 37 million shares. But the stock opened Thursday morning below $19, a 6% drop. It finished the day down 6.5%.
At its closing price, McAfee is worth just under $8 billion. The company trades on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol MCFE
McAfee was a public company before Intel (INTC)
bought it for $7.7 billion
in 2011. The McAfee name
was dropped a few years ago but then reinstated after Intel sold a majority stake in it to private equity firm TPG, which now owns nearly 66% of McAfee.
McAfee re-enters life as a standalone firm at a time when demand is strong for software to protect consumers and businesses from viruses, ransomware, spyware, phishing, identity theft and other cybersecurity problems.
Cybersecurity stocks have soared this year as a result. The Global X Cybersecurity ETF (BUG)
is up nearly 35% this year.
Earlier this year, McAfee brought on a tech industry veteran as CEO: Peter Leav
, who previously ran tech firms BMC Software and Polycom.
McAfee reported sales of $1.4 billion for the first six months of 2020, up nearly 9% from a year ago. It also eked out a small profit in the first two quarters after losing money in the same period of 2019.
But McAfee faces some notable challenges as well. The company currently has $4.8 billion in debt. McAfee said it plans to use about $525 million of the proceeds from the stock sale to reduce some of that debt load.
McAfee is also in a highly competitive business, going up against established rivals such as Norton Lifelock (NLOK)
, Trend Micro (TMICF)
, Broadcom (AVGO)
-owned Symantec and Palo Alto Networks (PANW)
Intel could benefit from the IPO, though. The chip giant still has a 7% stake in McAfee and will be selling some its shares as part of the offering.
Venture capital firm Thoma Bravo and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC, also have big stakes in McAfee and each will be selling only a small portion of their shares.
The company has kept the McAfee name even though founder John McAfee, who was recently arrested in Spain
and indicted for tax evasion charges by the US, is no longer with the firm.
John McAfee was also charged with fraud
by the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month for touting cryptocurrency investments to his Twitter followers without disclosing that he was paid to do so. He also ran unsuccessfully in 2016
for the Libertarian party’s presidential nomination.