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Intel reported to be considering selling McAfee security unit

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Almost six years after purchasing antivirus specialists McAfee, Intel is reported to be in the market to sell off its security arm, according to the FT.com.

Intel has yet to make a comment on the speculation, though those close to the deal expect it to be one of the largest in the security sector to date. The company initially announced the McAfee acquisition in August 2010 for $7.6 billion at a time where the concept of IoT was beginning to gain traction, and the size of the online security challenge was being realized.

“With the rapid expansion of growth across a vast array of Internet-connected devices, more and more of the elements of our lives have moved online,” said Paul Otellini, who was serving as Intel CEO at the time of the acquisition. “In the past, energy-efficient performance and connectivity have defined computing requirements. Looking forward, security will join those as a third pillar of what people demand from all computing experiences.”

While the introduction of cloud computing has provided smaller business and entrepreneurs a platform to innovate and challenge the tech giants, Intel are one of a number of organizations who have had to evolve their own proposition to remain relevant in the cloud-enabled world. Back in April, CEO Brian Krzanich outlined the long-term Intel strategy, which was split into five areas; cloud technology, IoT, memory and programmable solutions, 5G and developing new technologies under the concept of Moore’s law. While the security business unit is one of the larger within the Intel portfolio, security was not mentioned in the announcement.

The new strategy intends to move Intel away from the PC market place, as declining sales have continued to impact the business. Despite reporting year-on-year growth of 7% during the last quarterly earnings call, this was not enough to deter the company from announcing 12,000 job cuts, equivalent to 11% of the global workforce.

“Our results over the last year demonstrate a strategy that is working and a solid foundation for growth,” said Krzanich, who is leading the company’s shift away from client computing and towards IoT and the cloud. “The opportunity now is to accelerate this momentum and build on our strengths. These actions drive long-term change to further establish Intel as the leader for the smart, connected world. I am confident that we’ll emerge as a more productive company with broader reach and sharper execution.”

Security is an area which is seemingly gaining traction in the venture capitalist arena, as there have been numerous deals announced in recent months. Blue Coat was acquired by Symantec earlier this month from majority shareholder Bain Capital for $4.65 billion, with Bain Capital agreeing to reinvest $750 million, and Silver Lake committing to an additional investment of $500 million. Vista Equity Partners has also agreed to purchase identify management company Ping Identity for an undisclosed sum.

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