One of the cybersecurity channel's most ambitious consolidators, SecureLink, has been picked off by Orange in a blockbuster €515m deal.
Founded in 2003, Netherlands-based SecureLink has supercharged its annual revenues to nearly €250m on the back of a raft of acquisitions across Europe, including UK-based Nebulas and Nordic outfit Coresec.
Orange said the deal would make it a "European cybersecurity leader" as it seeks to sell more cybersecurity services into its 3,000-strong base of Orange Business Services customers.
The purchase comes hot on the heels of the French telecoms giant's acquisition of another of the cybersecurity channel's acquisitive players in the form of £44m-revenue, UK-based MSSP SecureData.
With the addition of SecureData and SecureLink, Orange claims its European cybersecurity business has 1,800 staff and €600m in pro-forma revenues. This hands it the "highest scale" to fend off today's global and complex cyberthreats, Orange claimed, explaining that it already ran a €300m-revenue French cybersecurity business under the Orange Cyberdefense banner.
The deal has echoes of Integralis' €75m majority acquisition by Japanese telco NTT in 2008, although, with an enterprise value of €515m, is far larger. At the time, Integralis was a similar stature, with around 500 staff and revenues of €169m. Its buyer was another telco with similar motivations.
Having been acquired by private equity firm Investcorp in 2015, SecureLink has aggressively expanded through acquisition and organic growth. Although it trumpeted an expansion into China in 2017, the world's most populous nation was conspicuously absent from the roll-call of SecureLink's current countries (ie Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, Denmark and Norway) name-checked in the press release.
The deal comes a year after the arrival of a new CEO in the form of Thomas Fetten, who shared with CRN sister publication Channel Partner Insight his plans to further expand the group last April.
According to Orange, SecureLink offers the full gamut of cybersecurity services, from consulting, SOC and managed detection and response, as well as security software and hardware. It has over 660 staff, 14 offices and 2,100 customers, turning over €248m in 2018.
SecureLink's management team, including Fetten, will join the global leadership team and help with the integration after the transaction's scheduled closure in late Q2 or Q3, Orange said.
"Cybersecurity is a growing priority for companies of all sizes, and we believe the two most important success factors are Scale and Proximity," said Hugues Foulon, executive director of Cybersecurity at Orange.
"Scale because today's threats are global, complex, and require matching protection capabilities. Proximity because in the global IT world, you want a trusted local partner to secure your most strategic assets. With the acquisition of SecureData and SecureLink, Orange has the highest scale to anticipate and fend off attacks, as well as local defense teams in all the main European markets, positioning the combined organisation as the go-to defense specialist.". "I am looking forward to building the integrated organisation with Michel [Van Den Berghe, CEO of Orange Cyberdefense], Thomas Fetten and all the teams."
Fetten added: "We have been very impressed by the ambition and successful development of Orange Cyberdefense over the past few years, and are very excited to build a pan-European leader of cybersecurity together. Orange Cyberdefense, SecureData and SecureLink are highly complementary and share a common vision for the sector, and the combined organisation will be in a phenomenal position to address the needs of our customers, partners and employees."
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