SAN JOSE, Calif. – In a move that accelerates its surge into the software market, chip-manufacturing giant Intel announced Thursday that it has agreed to buy security-software maker McAfee for $7.68 billion, the biggest purchase ever for Intel.

Under the deal, which the boards of both Santa Clara, Calif., companies have blessed pending approval by McAfee’s shareholders and government regulators, Intel has agreed to buy all of McAfee’s common stock for $48 a share. That represents a 60 percent premium based on McAfee’s $29.93 share price at the close of trading Wednesday.

Intel, which dominates the market for chips that are used in personal computers, said it sees the acquisition of McAfee as a key element of its push to get its chips into smart phones and other similar devices.

“With the rapid expansion of growth across a vast array of Internet-connected devices, more and more of the elements of our lives have moved online,” said Intel CEO Paul Otellini. “In the past, energy-efficient performance and connectivity have defined computing requirements. Looking forward, security will join those as a third pillar of what people demand from all computing experiences.”


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