Shares in Avast jumped this morning after the London-listed cybersecurity firm confirmed it is in advanced discussions over a possible merger with US rival NortonLifeLock.
In a statement last night Avast said Norton could make a cash and share offer for the entire issued capital of the firm. However, it warned there was no certainty a deal would be agreed.
Norton later confirmed the merger talks but did not provide any additional details.
“A combination of NortonLifeLock and Avast would bring together two companies with aligned visions, highly complementary business profiles and a joint commitment to innovation that helps protect and empower people to live their digital lives safely,” it said.
“We would draw on the best of both companies to ensure that the combination would benefit our customers, reward our employees and maximise long term value for all shareholders.”
Shares in Avast rose more than 13 per cent in early trading this morning.
Avast, which is listed in London but headquartered in Prague, makes free and premium security software for desktop and mobile devices.
In April it lifted its revenue forecasts for the full year after enjoying a continued boost to demand due to the pandemic.
The deal would enable Arizona-based NortonLifeLock, which currently focused on consumer cybersecurity, to expand its products to consumer software.
The company, formerly known as Symantec, currently sells Norton antivirus software and LifeLock identity-theft-protection products for home and work use.
Shares in NortonLifeLock were trading 2.3 per cent lower in after-hours trading.