The publicly traded parent company of ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, and CyberGhost may soon be a private company wholly owned by its current majority shareholder, Unikmind.
The company, owned by billionaire businessman Teddy Sagi, has proposed to buy all the shares in Kape Technologies it doesn’t control and privatize the company. This offer, which values Kape at a premium of just over $1.5 billion, comes a year after the Acquisition of industry heavyweight ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) for $936 million.
The offer documents (opens in new tab) is vigorous, saying the offer reflects a desire to “receive [the company’s] Expansion” and enable “long-term capital investments away from the public markets”.
“We are committed to the continued growth of Kape within our group of companies to enable the company to leverage operational synergies and access capital for its continued growth, especially as the convergence of technologies gathers momentum,” said Sagi.
What does it mean for users?
What does this mean for the seven million subscribers who use Kape’s various VPN and security products?
Unikmind says it “does not intend to make any significant changes to Kape’s business (other than a potential acceleration of inorganic growth), broader strategic plans, or locations and offices.”
The proof will be in the pudding. In particular, we will be on the lookout for Kape’s VPN brands to continue their track record of release independent audits (opens in new tab).
Unikmind’s bid includes several references to “expansion” and a “buy-and-build” strategy, including noting that in the current market “the availability of potential acquisitions may be increased.”
Between this offer and Kape’s recent placement news, in which the company is discussing securing additional financing to increase Kape’s ability to accelerate its growth through acquisitions, Unikmind is clearly signaling interest in expanding its privacy and security holdings.
Echoes from McAfee
This potential deal comes 11 months after a parallel move in the consumer cybersecurity industry in which McAfee was taken private by a group of investors for $14 billion. McAfee had communicated the take-private deal as an opportunity for the investor group to “provide both financial and operational resources to McAfee to further enhance its consumer offering and capture the rapid growth in consumer demand for digital protection services.”
McAfee has since launched its McAfee+ Service that combines its antivirus offering with a VPN, password manager, identity theft, and credit monitoring.
While Kape’s take-private deal is much smaller, it’s clear that the burgeoning opportunity in privacy and security is enticing for investors.