Private equity firm TA Associates has acquired a 25 percent stake in security software company AVG Technologies for $200 million. According to reports, the ownership was purchased from AVG’s shareholders and investors, including Intel Capital, and Benson Oak Capital, and Enterprise Investors, which remains the largest shareholder of AVG with 34 percent of shares.
Founded in 1991, AVG provides free antivirus and anti-spyware security software that is distributed through resellers and through the Web and supports all major operating systems and platforms. AVG currently has over 80 million users in 167 countries. AVG reported over $140 million in sales in 2008.
TA Associates says that the investment will be used to fund global expansion and potential add-on deals. The private equity firm also will be distributing cash to shareholders and some investors, which were rumored to want liquidity.
AVG’s technology was actually part of Microsoft Vista’s security essentials but the business is at threat now because Microsoft released the new security essentials which has their own free anti-virus engine, which was acquired from GeCAD in 2003 and Komoku in 2008.
In 2005, Intel Capital and Enterprise Investors invested $52 million into AVG. At that time, the company had 25 million users.