Secure future ahead as AEP merges with Netilla Networks


23 Dec 2004

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Irish security company AEP Systems has merged with US-based Netilla Networks and the newly combined entity has announced further funding of US$5m, which was sourced from existing investors.

In a statement, the renamed AEP Networks said that the deal brought together two complementary product ranges to provide a full range of secure networking systems. The company will provide high-security virtual private networks based on IPSec and Secure Socket Layer encryption technologies, as well as secure application access management products.

AEP Networks’ solutions will enable both secure remote access as well as internal (site-to-site) communications. The company said it planned to increase its market penetration thanks to cross-selling opportunities into its combined customer base of more than 1,200 enterprise clients worldwide, mainly in the healthcare, public sector and financial services markets.

The management team of the newly merged company will be headed by Pat Donnellan, who was CEO of AEP Systems. Reggie Best, who is president and CEO of Netilla Networks, will become executive vice-president of the company’s Marketing and Secure Application Access business unit. AEP Networks’ corporate headquarters will be Somerset, New Jersey and its European headquarters are to be located in London, supported by sales offices in Brussels and Hong Kong.

“Our mission is to be the market leader in high-security networking and application-access solutions for both the enterprise and public sector,” said Donnellan. “The merger positions us for expansion into new geographic and vertical markets with a full suite of secure networking solutions.”

Founded in 1998, AEP Systems has had a base near Dublin. Two years ago it acquired the hardware business of Baltimore Technologies. Netilla was formed in 1999, selling primarily to government, healthcare and financial services markets.

Existing investors in AEP Systems and Netilla are funding the new US$5m financing round. AEP’s lead investors include ACT Venture Capital and B-Business Partners. Netilla’s lead investor is Ascend Venture Group; also participating are Early Stage Enterprises, Masthead Venture Partners, Mid-Atlantic Venture Funds and NJTC Venture Fund.

Dan Maher, head of technology strategy with ACT Venture Capital, commented: “This investment reflects our confidence in the AEP Networks management team. The merger strengthens its global presence and will have a significant positive impact on revenues.”

By Gordon Smith