Intel has pounced on security specialist McAfee in a deal valued at $7.68bn, a 60% premium on McAfee's closing price on Wednesday evening.
The surprise move, which has already been unanimously approved by the boards of both parties, reflects "that security is now a fundamental component of online computing," claimed Intel.
"Inside Intel, the company has elevated the priority of security to be on par with its strategic focus areas in energy-efficient performance and Internet connectivity," the vendor said in a prepared statement.
On closure, assuming regulatory approval is granted, McAfee will be operated as a wholly-owned subsidiary, reporting into Intel's Software and Services Group, managed by Renee James.
"The acquisition is consistent with our software and services strategy to deliver an outstanding computing experience in fast-growing business areas, especially around the move to wireless mobility," said James.
McAfee CEO Dave DeWalt added: "We believe this acquisition will result in our ability to deliver a safer, more secure and trusted Internet-enabled device experience."
McAfee made sales of close to $2bn in its last financial year, and made gross margins of nearly 80%.