Intel is planning to spin off its security business just five years after the chipmaker acquired McAfee, according to reports.
Citing unnamed "people close to the discussions", The Financial Times said Intel has been in discussions with bankers about selling off its cyber security business "in a deal that would be one of the largest in the sector".
Intel bought cyber security firm McAfee in 2010 for $7.7 billion, with Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announcing in 2014 that the division would be renamed Intel Security. It was initially intended that the McAfee security functionality would be embedded into Intel's chips, however, this plan has, to date, failed to materialise.
The Financial Times also pointed out that any sale would take place against the backdrop of a major restructuring exercise Intel has undertaken to refocus its business on selling chips for cloud computing, having been hit by the declining PC market, on which it is still heavily dependent. This includes the planned loss of 12,000 jobs announced this year
It is claimed that the preferred selling price for Intel Security would be at least the $7.7 billion it paid initially, if not more. Should it succeed, Intel will come off much better than Dell did recently when it sold its whole software division for a rumoured $2 billion - less than it paid for many of its constituent parts, including Quest Software.
Intel has declined to comment on the matter.
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Jane McCallion is ITPro's deputy editor, specializing in cloud computing, cyber security, data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Deputy Editor, she held the role of Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialise in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.
Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.