Orange signs agreement to acquire cyber security services provider SecureLink

Orange has entered into an agreement with Investcorp to acquire 100% of SecureLink on a €515 million Enterprise Value basis. Based in the Netherlands, SecureLink is one of the largest independent cyber security services providers in Europe with on-the-ground presences in the UK, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Norway.

Founded back in 2003, SecureLink provides a full range of cyber security services to support its clients. Its offer includes specialised security consulting, security maintenance and support with 24/7 service desks as well as advanced managed detection and response capabilities. The Group is also a leading value-added reseller of security software and hardware solutions, holding more than 1,000 technical or sales accreditations with blue chip security vendors.

With over 660 employees and 14 offices, SecureLink recorded IFRS revenues of €248 million in 2018 and served over 2,100 customers across a broad range of industries.

As a result of this acquisition, Orange becomes one of Europe’s leaders in the cyber security realm with circa 1,800 employees, more than €600 million PF revenues in 2018 and strong positions in major local markets through its European DNA and a comprehensive cyber security services offering.

Pan-European leader

The European cyber security market is growing rapidly and Orange is already a leading player in the French market through Orange Cyberdefense (which boasted €303 million revenues in 2018, up 12% versus 2017). Along with the acquisition of SecureData back in January, this transaction greatly accelerates Orange’s strategy to become a pan-European leader in cyber security services.

With an extended European footprint and increased capabilities, the combined organisation will be able to address the growing and increasingly complex security needs of its customers on a global scale, as well as deliver strong synergies with the expertise and worldwide presence of Orange Business Services serving more than 3,000 multinational enterprises.

SecureLink’s highly respected senior management team will join the global leadership team at Orange and participate in building the operating model for the integrated combined organisation.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to complete in late Q2 or in Q3 2019.

Scale and proximity

“While cyber security is a growing priority for companies of all sizes, we firmly believe that the two most important success factors are scale and proximity,” stated Hugues Foulon, executive director of cyber security at Orange. “Scale because today’s threats are global and 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 defence teams in all the main European markets, positioning the combined organisation as the go-to defence specialist. I’m looking forward to building the integrated organisation with Michel [Van Den Berghe, CEO of Orange Cyberdefense], Thomas Fetten and all the teams.”

Fetten (CEO at SecureLink) responded: “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 cyber security together. Orange Cyberdefense, SecureData and SecureLink are highly complementary and share a common vision for the sector. The combined organisation will be in a phenomenal position to address the needs of our customers, partners and employees.”

Leading telecoms operator

Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 41 billion Euros in 2018 and 149,000 employees worldwide as of 31 March 2019, including 90,000 employees in France. The Group has a total customer base of 264 million customers worldwide, including 204 million mobile customers and 20 million fixed broadband customers. The Group is present in 27 countries.

Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies under the brand Orange Business Services.

In March 2015, the Group presented its (then) new strategic plan ‘Essentials2020’ which places customer experience at the heart of its strategy with the aim of allowing them to benefit fully from the digital universe and the power of its new generation networks.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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