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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

A&O steers Thales’ acquisition of S21sec and Excellium from SIM

Allen & Overy has advised Thales on the acquisition of S21sec and Excellium from Sonae Investment Management, reinforcing its cybersecurity activities

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Thales announced the signature of a definitive agreement with Sonae Investment Management to acquire two of European leading cybersecurity companies, S21sec and Excellium, gathered under the holding company Maxive Cybersecurity.

This acquisition will complement Thales’ cybersecurity portfolio, strengthening its incident detection and response services (Security Operations Centre – SOC) as well as consulting, audit and integration services.

It will bring extensive industry expertise and a solid, diversified customer base of industrial companies and critical infrastructure providers, including in the financial services, government and public services, which accounted for more than 50% of its revenue in 2021.

With 75% of staff at 9 sites in Spain and Portugal and 25% in Luxembourg and Belgium, it will also materially expand Thales’s European cybersecurity footprint, building on the companies’ strong history of innovation and leadership in cybersecurity.

With 546 employees, S21sec and Excellium businesses together generated 59 million euros in sales in 2021.

The acquisition, for an enterprise value of 120 million euros, is an important step forward for Thales in the highly dynamic market for cybersecurity consulting and managed services, which anticipates significant growth between 2020 and 2025.

As a global leader in cybersecurity, Thales is involved at every level of the cyber value chain, offering solutions ranging from risk assessment to protection of critical infrastructure, supported by comprehensive threat detection and response capabilities. Its offer is built around three families of products and services, which generated more than €1bn in sales in 2021:

  • Cybels solutions portfolio, a complete suite of cybersecurity services including risk assessment, training and simulation, and cyberattack detection and response
  • Sovereign products including encryptors and sensors to protect critical information systems
  • The CipherTrust Data Security Platform, the SafeNet Trusted Access Identity & Access Management as a service solution, and the broader cloud protection & licensing offerings

In 2022, Thales plans to hire 11,000 people worldwide, including 1,000 in cybersecurity.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed during the second half of 2022.

    “After the successful acquisitions of Vormetric in 2016 and Gemalto in 2019 that represented a step-change in Thales’ data security and encryption expertise, the acquisition of S21sec and Excellium consolidates our leadership in cybersecurity consulting and managed services. We are delighted to welcome the S21sec and Excellium expert teams as part of our fast-growing cybersecurity teams. Together, we will be able to provide solutions that deliver ever-higher performance to our customers.” Marc Darmon, EVP Thales, Secure Communications & Information Systems

“As the majority shareholder of the company, we’ve helped Maxive Cybersecurity more than triple its yearly revenues, building on its history of innovation and specialization and helping it become one of Europe’s leading MSSP companies. The acquisition by Thales is the recognition of this exceptional work done by the entire team and the logical next step in Maxive’s journey. We are confident it will be a great opportunity to further grow Maxive’s business and people.” Carlos Alberto Silva, managing partner at Sonae Investment Management.

A&O’s team was led by partner Bosco De Checa, along with associates Nicolás Sierra and  Eneko Marín, and legal trainee Irina Popa.

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