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McAfee to protect Japanese market

McAfee plans to acquire Japanese antivirus maker Jade KK in a $17 million stock-swap deal.

McAfee (MCAF) today announced plans to acquire Japanese antivirus maker Jade KK in a $17 million stock-swap deal.

The deal, which is expected to close in March, is designed to bolster McAfee's presence in the Japanese information technology market. The company made its first entry into Japan last month, when it opened McAfee Japan KK in Tokyo.

McAfee also views the acquisition as a way to fill out its global network of antivirus research facilities. Outside of the United States, McAfee also has a research facility and four offices in Europe.

"This gives us total coverage, 24-hours a day," said Terry Duryea, vice president of corporate development. "Many of the viruses are localized and this gives a presence in that market."

Jade, which holds a lead in the Japanese government market for antivirus software, produces Scan Vaccine and Virus Rescue products. The company also holds a No. 2 position overall in the Japanese market, said Peter Watkins, a McAfee spokesman.

"Japan is the world's second largest information technology market," said Bill Larson, McAfee chairman and chief executive, in a statement. "Our acquisition of Jade provides McAfee with a solid foothold in the Japanese antivirus market, while providing us an expanded foundation by which to grow our security, help desk, and network-management product lines."

Jade will be merged into McAfee Japan and its founder and chairman, Seiji Murakami, will become chairman of the overseas operation. Murakami is also the lead antivirus researcher for Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

McAfee will also absorb Jade's employees.

"The merger of our companies will allow McAfee and Jade to cooperatively achieve more than either company could achieve individually," said Masahiro Kano, McAfee Japan president. "By joining McAfee and Jade, we have built our resources to exploit the emerging market opportunities here in Japan and Asia."

McAfee anticipates it will issue 360,000 new shares for the deal, but the final number will be determined based on the average closing price between December 31 and January 28.