Cryptzone CEO gives his account of the events that led to NETconsent MBO

Security vendor's CEO denies challenges around acquisitions were factor in NETconsent's retreat.

Deal torn up

Security vendor Cryptzone has spoken out about NETconsent's management buyout, denying an inability to integrate its acquisitions was the cause of the breakup.

Cryptzone chief Einar Lindquist spoke to IT Pro after NETconsent's CEO Dominic Saunders claimed his firm had struggled to give NETconsent the attention it needed after acquiring the firm in 2010.

Saunders also claimed Cryptzone had found it difficult to integrate its other acquisitions and manage UK-based NETconsent from its base in Sweden.

Lindquist said acquiring a company is "always a challenge", let alone one that is based overseas.

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"You have to keep in mind when you acquire a business you don't acquire the product, you acquire people. It sounds very brutal, but that is the way it is, and we acquired the full team of NETconsent," he said.

"So they didn't need us to manage the business, they needed us to integrate the business and that is not easy when you are in two different countries," he added.

However, these difficulties were not a factor in the decision to part ways, Lindquist said.

Instead, a decision to retrench in the company's core business of security was the deciding factor, he claimed.

Lindquist told IT Pro he had spoken with Saunders when he took over as Cryptzone's CEO in June 2012, telling him he would not have "the muscle or economy" to support NETconsent given the direction the company had decided to take over the next few years.

"We decided then that it was a good chance for him to take care of NETconsent, which has been a good acquisition for us and is a good buyback for him. It is a win-win," Lindquist added.

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The company is in the process of doing a management buyout with another of its 2010 acquisitions, Swedish firm SE46, Lindquist revealed.

"[Secure access product AppGate and security for SharePoint] will be our main offerings in the future, which means that is where we are going to invest our money," he said.

"NETconsent and SE46 have been good acquisitions, but are not where we are going in the future, so it is a very conscious decision [to divest]."

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