Global digital security companies NortonLifeLock and Avast have announced to merge their operations to become a mega cyber security empire worth more than $8 billion.

The new company, yet to be renamed, will serve more than 500 million users, including 40 million direct customers.

“This transaction is a huge step forward for consumer Cyber Safety and will ultimately enable us to achieve our vision to protect and empower people to live their digital lives safely, ” said Vincent Pilette, Chief Executive Officer of NortonLifeLock.

“With this combination, we can strengthen our Cyber Safety platform and make it available to more than 500 million users. We will also have the ability to further accelerate innovation to transform Cyber Safety, ” he said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

Under the terms of the merger, Avast shareholders will be entitled to receive a combination of cash consideration and newly-issued shares in NortonLifeLock.

The merger values Avast’s entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital between approximately $8.1 billion and $8.6 billion, depending on Avast shareholders’ elections.

“At a time when global cyber threats are growing, yet cyber safety penetration remains very low, together with NortonLifeLock, we will be able to accelerate our shared vision of providing holistic cyber protection for consumers around the globe, ” said Ondrej Vlcek, CEO of Avast.

“Our talented teams will have better opportunities to innovate and develop enhanced solutions and services, with improved capabilities from access to superior data insights, ” he added.

The merger will combine Avast’s strength in privacy and NortonLifeLock’s strength in identity, creating a broad and complementary product portfolio, beyond core security and towards adjacent trust-based solutions.

It will unlock significant value creation through approximately $280 million of annual gross cost synergies, with additional upside potential from new reinvestment capacity for innovation and growth;

Following the completion of the transaction, Avast CEO Vlcek is expected to join NortonLifeLock as President and become a member of the NortonLifeLock Board of Directors.

In addition, Pavel Baudis, a co-founder and current director of Avast, is expected to join the NortonLifeLock Board as an independent director, the companies announced.

Avast was founded in the Czech Republic and acquired AVG five years ago while NortonLifeLock is the former consumer business of Symantec.

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