Security software developer Network Associates Inc. (NAI) on Tuesday made a revised offer to McAfee.com Corp. for the 25 per cent of the company it doesn’t already own, after having its last bid to take over the company rejected last month.

NAI, based in Santa Clara, Calif., increased the value of its offer for each outstanding share of McAfee.com common stock to US$15.43 (based on the closing price of NAI common stock on Aug. 12). The new deal now offers 0.675 of a share of NAI common stock plus US$8 in cash for each outstanding share of McAfee.com common stock, NAI said in a statement.

NAI has also extended the expiry date of the offer until midnight, Eastern Time, on Sept. 12, unless further extended, it said.

“We strongly believe the customers and shareholders of the two companies will benefit significantly from the recombination of these two companies,” said George Samenuk, NAI’s chairman and chief executive officer, on a conference call held Tuesday.

Samenuk called NAI’s latest bid “a fair offer” and said, “this is also our best and final offer.” If this deal is not accepted by McAfee.com’s shareholders, NAI will pursue other ways to more closely align the companies, he said.

Despite saying that, later in the call, Samenuk also said that NAI has “not thought through any other options if this deal does not go through.”

McAfee.com did not have any immediate comment on the proposed deal.

Samenuk said he had spoken to the special board of directors handling the offer for McAfee.com, but that they had not given him an indication of what recommendation they would make.

Nonetheless, “it’s time to get this exchange offer done,” he said. “It’s time to recombine these two companies. It’s time to get on with the business of serving our customers.”

NAI had previously offered to exchange .90 of an NAI share for each outstanding share of McAfee.com. That offer was soundly rejected when only 4 per cent of eligible McAfee.com’s shares were tendered into the offer by the July 31 deadline. NAI must either receive a majority of votes or increase its McAfee.com stake from 75 per cent to 90 per cent in order to make a deal between the two companies legally binding.

McAfee.com’s directors had urged shareholders to reject the overture by NAI, claiming that NAI’s bid for the Sunnyvale, Calif., McAfee.com “significantly undervalued” the company. Refusing to be deterred by the rebuff, NAI immediately extended the deadline for its offer to Aug. 13.

NAI has repeatedly attempted to reabsorb the subscription services and hosted applications provider, which it spun out as a separate company in 1999, in an effort to strengthen its own offerings for the consumer and small-to-medium business market. NAI also believes the move would eliminate current customer confusion over the difference between McAfee.com and NAI’s McAfee Security product group



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