Lyceum continues IT sector interest

Private equity firm Lyceum Capital has taken the total amount spent on IT industry investment this year to more than £100 million with the acquisition of Clearswift.

On the back of recent deals for Adapt in September (£30 million) and Access in March (£50 million), the mid-market firm has committed in excess of £30 million to secure the acquisition of the software company.

Clearswift provides security products aimed at protecting business’s intellectual property and communications to customers including BAE Systems, Hitachi and T-Mobile. Headquartered in Reading, and with satellite bases in six other countries, the company’s software services manage inbound data threats, data loss prevention and web access policies.
Jeremy Hand, co-founder of Lyceum Capital, says that through the deal the private equity firm is backing an ‘exciting company’.
As part of the deal, former chief executive officer of IRIS Software, Martin Leuw, is joining Hand and Lyceum Partner’s operational partner David Harland as new members of Clearswift’s board.
Hand adds: ‘With an already strong management team bolstered by the arrival of Martin and our strategic, operational and financial input, we’re expecting Clearswift to continue with its strong organic growth supplemented with target acquisitions.’
The purchase sees an exit for a group of investors including Amadeus Capital Partners, DFJ Esprit and Kennet Partners.
Clearswift began life as NET-TEL in 1982 and was rebranded in 2001 following a round of venture capital fundraising. In 2003, the business secured £3.75 million from shareholders including Amadeus Capital Partners and Kennet Partners.

Richard Turner, chief executive officer at Clearswift, comments: ‘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.’

Todd Cardy

Todd Cardy

Todd was Editor of between 2010 and 2011 as well as being responsible for publishing our digital and printed magazines focusing on private equity and venture capital.

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