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WISeKey signs binding agreement to acquire a controlling interest in QuoVadis
7 Feb 2017

WISeKey International Holding Ltd has signed a binding agreement to acquire a controlling interest in QV Holdings Ltd, the Bermuda-domiciled parent of the QuoVadis Certification Authority and electronic signatures company.

WISeKey is a leading Swiss cybersecurity and Internet of Things (IoT) company whose Class B Shares are listed on SIX Swiss Exchange (WIHN:SW).

WISeKey will acquire 85% of the equity in QuoVadis, with the transaction expected to close in Q1 2017. Existing QuoVadis external shareholders will receive a cash consideration plus equity in WIHN, and current QuoVadis debt will be extinguished. QuoVadis Management shareholders will continue to hold a 15% minority stake in QuoVadis, which WISeKey has the option to later acquire according to a predetermined formula.

QuoVadis will continue to operate as a standalone business, expanding business from its operations in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Bermuda.

Roman Brunner, CEO of QuoVadis, said “QuoVadis is enjoying rapid growth providing electronic trust services across the European markets based on our proven track record for local support, practical advice, and implementation success. The transaction with WISeKey will enable QuoVadis to extend our growth serving our multinational corporate markets, as well as the fast-evolving demands for services in the IoT and eIDAS eID and electronic trust sectors.”

Carlos Moreira, Chairman and CEO of WISeKey, commented “This transaction will bring strong synergies to WISeKey with a large recurring customer base of QuoVadis’ proven Trust/Link and sealsign technologies; in-depth operations experience running multiple secure and high-availability trustcentre environments under strict accreditation regimes; and adept sales and support teams based in important customer markets including Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Germany.”

WISeKey expects QuoVadis will add more than USD 20 million in revenues to its top line in FY2017, with additional significant contributions from Vault IC, the IoT integrated circuits and semiconductor business of INSIDE Secure acquired by WISeKey in 2016.

ACXIT Capital Partners AG acted as strategic and financial advisor and Homburger AG acted as legal counsel to WISeKey in this transaction. Marlin & Associates acted as strategic and financial advisor to QuoVadis, and Kirkland & Ellis acted as legal counsel to investment funds managed by ABRY Partners II, LLC, which were the selling equity holders in the transaction together with KeyTech Limited.