Temasek, StarHub in joint venture to form pure-play cyber-security firm

Joint venture Ensign InfoSecurity is a merger between cyber-security firms Quann and Accel Systems & Technologies, which are subsidiaries of Temasek and StarHub respectively. PHOTOS: REUTERS, BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Temasek Holdings has formed a joint venture (JV) with StarHub to set up Ensign InfoSecurity, a pure-play cyber-security firm that will offer bespoke, end-to-end security solutions to enterprises and governments globally.

Ensign will operate as one of Asia's largest integrated pure-play cyber-security firms, the new company said on Wednesday (Sept 5).

Ensign is a merger between cyber-security firms Quann and Accel Systems & Technologies, which are subsidiaries of Temasek and StarHub respectively. While Quann is the cyber-security arm of Certis, the integrated security organisation owned by Temasek, Accel is a security infrastructure company majority-owned by StarHub.

Temasek will hold a majority 60 per cent of Ensign, and StarHub will own the remaining 40 per cent.

Lee Fook Sun will helm Ensign as its executive chairman, and oversee some 500 cyber-security specialists who will operate from Ensign's corporate headquarters in Singapore. Mr Lee, who is executive chairman of Quann and chairman of the Singapore Building and Construction Authority, was formerly president of ST Electronics from 2009 to 2016.

He said: "Ensign will be uniquely positioned to integrate the expertise from our founding partners, as well as develop new capabilities, to ensure our clients have the most robust cyber-defence capabilities.

"We are also fortunate to have the renewed leadership of a strong team to grow our capabilities further and take on market opportunities."

In a media statement, StarHub said Ensign will harness the capabilities of ASTL and Quann to "deliver end-to-end cyber-security solutions to organisations in Singapore and overseas markets, as a Singapore-based pure-play cyber-security company with end-to-end capabilities comprising professional services, systems integration and managed security services".

As part of the deal, Ensign has agreed to purchase all of ASTL's 23 million shares, as well as all 801 Quann shares.

In addition, Ensign has also agreed to buy "certain cyber-security business related assets" of StarHub's for a $120 million consideration.

Part of the consideration - $16 million - will be paid to StarHub in cash, with the remainder via the allotment and issuance of 104 million new Ensign shares to StarHub at an issue price of $1 per share, or 40 per cent of Ensign's total issued shares.

Ensign will provide bespoke cybersecurity services which include professional services, designing and building enterprise-wide cyber-security solutions and managed security services. Its machine learning and proprietary Big Data capabilities will also provide clients with access to advanced threat detection and the ability to provide round-the-clock monitoring services through the largest security operation centre in the region, said Ensign.

The company has plans to expand its focus on cyber analytics, develop global threat intelligence centres with partners, and build cyber-security R&D (research and development) labs.

Ensign said that it will initially support government and enterprise customers, and generate revenues in excess of $100 million annually in cyber-security solutions, systems integration and managed services. It will also build on its current core markets of Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, and expand regionally, it added.

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