Intel has sold the Intel Security business for $4.2bn to private equity firm TPG, despite paying $7.7bn for the business in 2010 when it was called McAfee.
The chip firm will receive $3.1bn in cash and retain a 49 per cent stake. TPG will take control with a 51 per cent stake, and will invest $1.1bn in the company.
Intel Security is based on the McAfee business and was renamed two years ago. The company will revert to the better known McAfee brand, despite John McAfee reportedly suing Intel over the use of his name.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017, and Chris Young, general manager of Intel Security Group, will become CEO of McAfee.
Young described TPG in an open letter to stakeholders as a "seasoned technology investor" that was "attracted to our current momentum and long-term potential".
He claimed that McAfee currently protects "more than a quarter of a billion endpoints" and more than 200 million consumers, and is present in two thirds of the world's 2,000 largest companies.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich claimed that, despite the sale, security "remains important in everything we do at Intel".
"We will continue to integrate industry-leading security and privacy capabilities in our products from the cloud to billions of smart, connected computing devices," he added.
Bryan Taylor, a partner at TPG, said that the company had "long identified the cyber security sector, which has experienced strong growth due to the increasing volume and severity of cyber attacks, as one of the most important areas in technology".
Intel's acquisition of McAfee Security in 2010 was intended to enable the company to beef up security around PCs and sell McAfee antivirus and other security software around its core business.
However, the combination never worked as the money to be made in the security business became increasingly focused on the data centre and cloud computing.
The move is the latest sell off by a big US tech company, after HPE sold core business software assets including Autonomy to UK firm Micro Focus.
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