Mergers and acquisitions mostly stopped at the end of March, amid the coronavirus pandemic that is spreading throughout the world, but today news appears about an agreement from Europe which underscores where pockets of activity still occur. Avira, a cybersecurity company based in Germany that provides antivirus, identity management and other tools both for consumers and as a white-label offering of a number of major technology brands, has been taken by Investcorp Technology Partners, the PE division of Investcorp Bank. Investcorp’s plan is to help Avira make acquisitions in a wider security consolidation game.
The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed in an announcement with the company, but Avira’s CEO, Travis Witteveen, and MD ITP, Gilbert Kamieniecky, both said they gave Avira a total valuation of $ 180 million. The deal will involve ITP taking majority ownership in the company, with founder Avira Tjark Auerbach maintaining “significant” shares of the company in the deal, Kamieniecky added.
Avira is not a technology startup in the typical sense. The company was founded in 1986 and has bootstrapped (in that case it never seems to take outside investment as it has grown). Witteveen said that he currently has “tens of millions” of users of his current branded products – his anti-virus software has been resold by people like Facebook (as part of a product that is now inactive). antivirus market) – and more through white label offers that he makes with big names. Today’s strategic partner including NTT, Deutsche Telekom, IBM, Canonical, and others.
He said that the company already has many strategic approaches to acquisitions from the ranks of technology companies, and also from more typical investors, but this is not the route that it wants to follow, because it wants to grow as its own business, and requires more of a financial injection to do that than what which can be obtained from a more standard VC agreement.
“We want a partnership where someone can step in and support our organic, inorganic growth [acquisition] opportunity, “he said.
The plan is to make more acquisitions to broaden Avira’s footprint, both in terms of products and especially to develop its geographical footprint: today the company is active in Asia, Europe and at a lower level in the US, while Investcorp has a business that also extends to The middle East.
Cybersecurity, meanwhile, may never be out of date as an investment and growth opportunity in technology. Not only is cyber threats becoming more sophisticated and ubiquitous and targeted at consumers and individual businesses over the past few years, but our increasing dependence on technology and systems connected to the internet will increase demand and need to safeguard this security from malicious attacks.
That has become no clearer than in the last few weeks, when most of the world’s population has been locked up in shelters. People in turn spend a lot of time online using cellphones, computers and other devices to read news, communicate with their family and friends, entertain themselves, and do important work that they might have done offline in the past.
“In today’s market, you can imagine many who worry about the uncertainty of the technological landscape, but this is what continues to grow,” Kamieniecky said. “In the field of security, we have seen companies develop quite quickly and quickly, and here we haThere is an opportunity to do that. “
Avira has been a kind of consolidation until now, like buying a company SocialShield (which provides online security specifically for young and social media users), while ITP, with Investcorp has about $ 34 billion managed, has made many acquisitions (and divestments) over the years, with several technology agreements including Ubisense, Zeta Interactive and Dialog.
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