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Report: McAfee joins Permira, Advent as potential buyers for NortonLifeLock

U.S. cybersecurity software company McAfee LLC is considering acquiring industry peer NortonLifeLock Inc., The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.

McAfee, which is owned by Intel Corp. and private equity firms TPG Capital LP and Thoma Bravo LLC, is reportedly weighing several options, including a merger of its consumer business with NortonLifeLock. There is no assurance that a transaction would push through, with a deal unlikely before the first quarter of 2020 as NortonLifeLock Chairman Daniel Schulman and five other directors plan to step down before the company's Dec. 19 annual meeting.

McAfee joins Permira Advisers Ltd. and Advent International Corp. as potential buyers. The private equity firms approached the company when it was known as Symantec Corp. for a deal prior to the $10.7 billion sale of its enterprise security business to Broadcom Inc.

Earlier reports said McAfee was planning to go public again, where it could raise at least $1 billion. But the company looked at other options following a lukewarm reception to recent IPOs of tech companies, the sources told the Journal.