Alantra advises RUAG on the sale of Clearswift to HelpSystems



Dec 2019
Sell-side advisory

London, Zurich – Alantra, the independent global mid-market investment banking and asset management firm, today announced it has advised international technology group RUAG on the sale of its UK cybersecurity software business Clearswift, to US-based HelpSystems. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

Alantra’s UK and Swiss offices worked in collaboration on the deal advising Swiss-based RUAG which Alantra has had an existing relationship with for over a decade. The cross-border nature of the sale to a US trade buyer demonstrates the strength of Alantra’s international reach and its specialist expertise in the cybersecurity sub-sector. Cybersecurity M&A activity levels remain high and Clearswift has grown well due to strong global demand for security software. Cyber threats remain prevalent and major corporates continue to report frequent attacks and breaches of their systems.

Clearswift specialises in information security and offers adaptive cybersecurity solutions to companies around the world to protect business-critical data effectively from internal and external threats. The business is headquartered in Reading and employs 150 people. With its deep content inspection, Clearswift scans content as it enters or leaves an organisation to ensure sensitive data transmitted via e-mail, or other web-based methods, is protected as it travels within and outside the organisation. Clearswift’s success is driven by its ability to embed its adaptive data loss prevention technology within its solutions, enhancing security effectiveness and lowering the risk of business interruption. The addition of the Clearswift solutions to the HelpSystems portfolio will provide customers with an expanded set of cybersecurity options to protect critical data and enable compliance with industry mandates such as GDPR.

Richard Sanders, Partner at Alantra said: “We are delighted to have advised RUAG on the successful sale of Clearswift to a leading US trade buyer. With the combined efforts of our international teams, we were able to leverage our global reach and sector expertise which has been essential in the success of the transaction. The European cybersecurity sector is growing in the region of c.10% per annum and is very attractive to international buyers looking to broaden their services offering and European presence. Our experience and market analysis in this sub-sector means that we are well placed to advise other businesses within this space who are considering their strategic options.”

Urs Breitmeier, CEO RUAG Group said: “We are very pleased to have sold the business to HelpSystems, a buyer with a large global presence that can continue to develop Clearswift’s business in the future.”

The successful sale of Clearswift is a major step in RUAG International’s strategy to concentrate on the aerospace market. This is the Alantra’s second cybersecurity transaction of 2019, and more transactions in this sub-sector are expected next year.

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