NAI ups bid for McAfee.com

Is it enough?

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Network Associates Inc's attempt to acquire McAfee.com Corp looks to be back on after the enterprise security vendor upped its offer by 15.6%. Santa Clara, California-based Network Associates originally offered 0.675 of a Network Associates share for each McAfee share, a value that McAfee's special committee of the board described as "financially inadequate".

The acquisition attempt was subsequently delayed as Network Associates announced that its past accounting procedures were under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, but is now back on after the company upped the offer to 0.78 of a Network Associates share for every McAfee share.

The offer is being made directly to McAfee shareholders, and as such does not require the backing of the consumer anti-virus service provider; nevertheless McAfee's rejection of the previous offer put Network Associate's plans in jeopardy. The new offer is more to McAfee.com's liking and its board of directors has recommended that shareholders accept the offer.

Network Associates already owns 75% of McAfee, but is looking to reacquire the 25% it spun off via a 1999 initial public offering. The company is trying to reduce confusion in the marketplace caused by its own McAfee-branded consumer retail products and enterprise anti-virus products and services, and McAfee.com's consumer-focused web-based anti-virus services.

Meanwhile, McAfee.com reported its results for the first quarter ending March 31. Sales were up 46% to $18.8m. Net income was $5.5m, compared to a $2.8m loss last year. On a proforma basis, the company made a net profit of $3.9m, compared to a $1.4m loss last year.

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