McAfee is planning a return to Wall Street as 2019's IPO frenzy continues

McAfee, Chris YoungMcAfee CEO Chris YoungMcAfee

  • McAfee is readying an IPO that could come as soon as this year.
  • The company's return to public markets could raise at least $1 billion, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
  • The company would add to this year's above-average number of tech IPOs.
  • Founder John McAfee made headlines in 2012 after avoiding police questioning in connection to the suspected murder of his neighbor.
  • Visit the Markets Insider homepage for more stories.

McAfee is preparing a return to the public market after boosting cash flows under CEO Chris Young, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The company's owners are meeting with bankers this week to consider an initial public offering as early as this year. The IPO could raise at least $1 billion and value McAfee at more than $5 billion, the WSJ said.

This year has already been uniquely popular for tech IPOs. The first half of 2019 yielded the highest volume in a comparable period for such offerings in nearly two decades, according to Dealogic. Companies similar to McAfee are enjoying a period of investor interest, with the ETFMG Prime Cyber Security ETF outperforming the S&P 500 by roughly four percentage points so far this year.

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McAfee bolstered cash flows through acquisitions and changes to its business strategy under it's current leadership, according to the WSJ. The company purchased cloud-security provider Skyhigh Networks and VPN company TunnelBear in 2018.

McAfee first went public in 1999 and remained on markets until Intel bought it in 2011 for $7.5 billion. The cybersecurity-software giant was valued at $2.15 when private-equity firm TPG took a 51% stake in 2016.

The company is named after its founder, John McAfee, and a return to Wall Street may remind some of the headlines he made in 2012.

After leaving the company in 1994 to move to Belize, McAfee fled to Guatemala to avoid law enforcement looking to question him regarding the suspected murder of his neighbor. The company's founder maintained his innocence and was deported to the US, with Belize declining to ask for his extradition.

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