The move comes six years after Intel announced the acquisition of McAfee, one of the leading antivirus software companies at the time.
An Intel statement said the spinoff would be made with the investment group TPG, which would own 51 percent of McAfee, leaving Intel with 49 percent and valuing the group at $4.2 billion.
Intel chief Brian Krzanich said in a statement that “security remains important in everything we do at Intel and going forward we will continue to integrate industry-leading security and privacy capabilities in our products from the cloud to billions of smart, connected computing devices.”
The new group will be one of the world’s largest pure-play cybersecurity companies, and frees Intel to focus on new priorities such as wearables and other connected devices.
“We believe that McAfee will thrive as an independent company. With TPG’s investment, along with continued support from Intel, McAfee will sharpen its focus and become even more agile in its response to today’s rapidly evolving security sector,” said Jim Coulter, co-founder and co-chief executive of TPG.
Chris Young, who heads the unit, will be CEO of the new company.
Intel announced the $7.68 billion deal for McAfee in 2010 and closed the deal in 2011.
The group is no longer affiliated with founder John McAfee, who was a fugitive from authorities in Central America and more recently made a run for the US presidency.