The move is the outfit’s biggest acquisition outside the main telecoms sector and is being touted as a Singtel moving away from being a pure-play telecoms company.
Apparently it wants to be involved in something analysts are calling “digital life”, which includes mobile video and digital advertising, and cyber security through partnerships with FireEye and Akamai, among others. Failing that it wants to be lumberjack.
Even if Singtel had no cunning plans, there is money to be made in the managed security services industry according to Gartner Group. Managed security will grow 15 percent annually from 2014 to reach $24 billion in 2018.
That growth potential has already stoked other acquisitions in the cyber-security business, including BAE’s $232.5 million deal to buy SilverSky and FireEye’s $1 billion takeover of Mandiant, both in 2014.
Singtel, which owns stakes in regional operators including India’s Bharti Airtel and Thailand’s Advanced Info Service, will buy a 98 percent equity stake in the company from a group of investors assembled by Trustwave’s chairman and chief executive officer, Robert McCullen. He will hold the remaining 2 percent.
Trustwave will continue to operate as a stand-alone business unit, Singtel said.
Trustwave, which has over 3 million business subscribers, offers a range of services, including scanning of databases, risk identification and payment compliance. Singtel declined to provide names of specific clients.