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NAI on-off bid for McAfee.com is off again

Accounting inaccuracies

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Network Associates on-off bid for the shares in its McAfee.com consumer ASP subsidiary that it doesn't own is off, again.

Last Month, NAI offered a stock swap deal worth around $208.2 million for the 25 per cent of McAfee.com shares outside its control.

The aim of the acquisition was to remove confusion over Network Associates business units and to streamline its operations.

The offer suffered a setback when the board of McAfee.com described it as "financially inadequate" and encouraged its shareholders to reject NAI's overtures.

When the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began investigating NAI's accounting practices, NAI decided it had little choice to postpone the bid.

That seemed to be the end of the matter, but days later NAI came back upped its original offer by 15.6 per cent. The new offer was more to McAfee.com's liking and its board of directors has recommended that shareholders accept the offer.

However the revised bid was withdrawn yesterday after NAI said that "it has discovered accounting inaccuracies in its 1999 and 2000 financial statements requiring the restatement of these financials". The company has informed the SEC of the preliminary results of its internal investigation and will keep the regulators informed as to its progress. ®

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