Cybersecurity company McAfee has returned to Wall Street on Thursday in an initial public offering (IPO).

The firm had priced its initial public offering at $20 a share and aimed to raise $740 million from the sale of 37 million shares.

This will be McAfee’s second listing on Wall Street, as McAfee was a public company before it was acquired by Intel for $7.7 billion in 2011.

McAfee IPO

But its stock opened at $18.60 per share on Thursday, a 7 percent fall in its share price.

This meant the firm has only raised $620 million.

The company is trading on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol MCFE.

The money it raises it go some way to helping the firm reduce its debt, as it currently has $4.7 billion in debt.

McAfee has reportedly said it plans to use about $525 million of the proceeds from the stock sale to reduce some of that debt load.

Famous founder

McAfee had kept the name of its founder, John McAfee, despite him being at the centre of controversy for years.

Earlier this month John McAfee was arrested in Spain as he tried to board a plane to Turkey, over tax evasion charges in the United States.

This was not the first time that he has spent time in jail.

In July 2019 McAfee was detained for a number of days in South America, after Dominican Republic Armed Forces boarded his yacht in Puerto Plata.

Multiple high-calibre weapons as well as ammunition were reportedly seized during that arrest.

He was later released after being detained for bringing the weapons into the country.

Tax evasion

McAfee is essentially wanted by US federal prosecutors over charges that he evaded taxes and wilfully failed to file tax returns.

That came shortly after the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed it had brought civil charges against McAfee, alleging he made over $23.1 million (£17.7m) in undisclosed compensation from false and misleading cryptocurrency recommendations.

He is alleged to have earned millions in income from promoting cryptocurrencies, as well as through consulting work, speaking engagements, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary.

McAfee spoken out previously about taxes. Last year for example he tweeted that he hadn’t filed tax returns for eight years because “taxation is illegal.”

In December last year McAfee also launched his bid to become President of the United States of America, once again.

It should be remembered that McAfee ran in the US presidential election in 2016 under the Libertarian Party banner, but finished as runner-up for the Libertarian nomination.

Colourful life

The antivirus software pioneer certainly has had a colourful life.

In 2012 he went on the run after his neighbour in Belize and fellow US expatriate Gregory Faull was shot in the head in San Pedro Town on the island of Ambergris Caye.

McAfee denied involvement in the murder after police in Belize said they wanted to question McAfee, but the millionaire said that he believed Faull had been killed in error, and the murderers were in fact after McAfee.

This motivated McAfee to change his appearance and go on the run.

He hid in Belize jungle for three weeks, but then crossed into neighbouring Guatemala, where he was arrested by immigration officials for entering the country illegally, and eventually deported – but to the US, not Belize.

However Belizean police did not persist in seeking McAfee’s imprisonment for murder, making him a free man.

Until now of course.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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