Eurokom goes Dutch with Unit 4 acquisition


1 Mar 2007

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Eurokom, a provider of secure messaging services, has bought Unit 4 Agresso in a move that it hopes will double the company’s turnover by the end of this year.

The value of the deal has not been disclosed but the company confirmed it was an all-cash transaction.

Originally established in 1990 as Priority Data Systems, Unit 4 Agresso was renamed when it was acquired in 2002 by the Netherlands firm of the same name. The company is profitable.

According to Eurokom managing director Seamus Conlon, the reason for the deal was that Unit 4’s Dutch parent has been divesting itself of non-core businesses that don’t provide software development. As such, the deal was opportunistic but timely. “We wanted to grow our business this year and acquisition is one of the quickest ways of doing that,” Conlon told siliconrepublic.com.

In the Irish market, Unit 4 had been most closely associated with supplying software from McAfee, one of the leading IT security companies in the market. McAfee is looking to branch out beyond its core base of antivirus products and this strategy will provide further opportunities to the combined company in the local market, Conlon said.

He added that the acquisition would lead to cross-selling opportunities. “Unit 4 has clients in markets – like the financial sector – that we don’t have and it will help us to make inroads into them,” Conlon said.

The deal is also a sign of further consolidation in the IT security space, with Entropy having been acquired by Calyx last year. Two years ago Eurokom bought the IT security consultancy Zerflow.

EuroKom has been in business for 24 years and its core business is providing its managed email service, MailKare, which it provides to over 50,000 business users in many of Ireland’s major companies and public sector organisations. It also supplies a range of hardware and software security offerings.

By Gordon Smith

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