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Network Associates to buy McAfee shares

Network Associates plans to acquire all publicly held shares in McAfee.com through a stock swap in a bid to merge the anti-virus software vendor with one of its subsidiaries. The offer is to be filed with the US Securities and Exchange commission on or about March 25, it said.

McAfee.com shareholders will be offered 0.675 shares of Network Associates common stock for each outstanding share of McAfee.com Class A common stock. Network Associates already owns approximately three-quarters of antivirus-software vendor McAfee.com.

Based on the March 15 closing price of $27.61 (£19.39) per share for Network Associates and $15.54 (£11) per share for McAfee.com, the offer represents a value of almost $18.64 (£13), or a premium of almost 20%, per McAfee.com share, a company statement said.

McAfee.com officials acknowledged the Networks Associate proposal, noting that Network Associates intended to put the proposal directly to McAfee.com shareholders for approval rather than the company's board of directors.

In light of the proposal, McAfee.com's board of directors has assembled a special committee of independent and outside directors to determine the company's options and make recommendations to the board of directors. Within 10 business days of the commencement of Network Associates' exchange offer, McAfee.com's board expects to make public its recommendation to shareholders whether to accept or reject the proposal. The board may also decide to stay neutral, the McAfee.com statement said.

So far, the board has not reached a decision on the matter, it said.

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