Baltimore disposes of US managed services arm


22 Jul 2003

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Baltimore Technologies has entered into a conditional agreement to sell its loss-making US managed services operations to beTRUSTed for close to £1.1m sterling in cash.

The news comes just two weeks after Baltimore took itself off the market, having previously been up for sale. However in its announcement on 10 July the company said that negotiations involving the disposal of certain managed service related offerings would continue. Earlier this month Baltimore sold its SelectAccess division to HP for £8.3m sterling.

The managed services business provides customers with digital certificates and is operated from a secure hosting facility based in Needham Heights, Massachusetts. The business generated US$1.5m in revenue for the last calendar year, but it made a loss of US$1.96m, according to unaudited management information.

In a statement outlining the agreement with beTRUSTed, Baltimore said it believes it can best exploit the commercial potential of its authentication products by partnering with a dedicated managed security services company rather than by owning its own managed services business. In so doing, it will help to maintain its focus on the high-end finance and government authentication business.

Baltimore CEO Bijan Khezri said: “For Baltimore, the managed security offering has been more of a product distribution channel rather than an end in itself. Therefore, Baltimore can best exploit the commercial potential of our authentication products through partnering with a dedicated managed security services company.”

Baltimore has had a business relationship with beTRUSTed for the past four years. “I am pleased to see our customers transferring to an organisation that is not only entirely dedicated to managed security, but has an outstanding track record in supporting Baltimore’s products,” Khezri added. “This transaction will allow Baltimore to continue making the development, support and maintenance of our authentication business a priority.”

Founded in 1999, beTRUSTed is a global provider of security and trust services to corporates and government agencies. Originally a division of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the company was acquired by One Equity Partners in January of this year. The company currently provides a range of security, identity management and trust service offerings to nearly 40 major clients worldwide.

By Gordon Smith