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November 29, 2011

UK security firm Clearswift gets private equity investment

Cash boost will see web security company push new products and new markets

By Steve Evans

Web and email security company Clearswift has been acquired by private equity firm Lyceum Capital.

Financial details were not released but Clearswift said it will use the new investment to help it expand its product portfolio as well as its geographic footprint.

As a result of the acquisition, the Reading-based company has made a number of changes to its management team. Lyceum partners Jeremy Hand and David Harland will join the board at Clearswift while Martin Leuw, former CEO at IRIS software, will join the board as chairman.

Richard Turner, CEO of Clearswift, will remain in his role. Talking about the investment, he said: "Threats and risks are increasingly becoming specific to individual customers and need a tailored, more flexible approach. The one size fits all anti-spam and anti-virus technologies many companies rely on is out-dated."

"With its heritage in both content inspection and flexible compliance policies backed up by excellent service, Clearswift is well positioned to meet customer needs in a world where social media and web technologies are rapidly transforming the way we all do business. We are delighted to have the backing of Lyceum Capital to support the next phase of our ambitious growth plans," he added.

Clearswift says it has around 17,000 customers in 50 countries, including BAE Systems, Hitachi Solutions, Warwick District Council and T-Mobile.

There have been a large number of acquisitions in the security space over the last year or so. These include McAfee’s deal to buy NitroSecurity and IBM’s acquisition of Q1 Labs. Earlier this month authentication firm Cryptocard acquired the patents and IP of troubled tokenless authentication firm GrIDsure. McAfee itself was bought by Intel in one of last year’s more surprising moves.

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