Temasek to buy StarHub's cryptographic tech firm for $100m

Temasek has agreed to stump up as much as $100 million to acquire cryptographic tech firm D'Crypt from StarHub and D'Crypt's founding shareholders.

StarHub and D'Crypt founding shareholders Antony Ng, Chew Hwee Boon and Pang Liang Teck will sell their 100 per cent stake in D'Crypt to Temasek for an initial aggregate cash consideration of $100 million. Of that sum, StarHub will receive $65 million for its 65 per cent stake in D'Crypt.

But the founding shareholders stand to receive an additional earn-out consideration of up to $33.6 million, if they achieve certain agreed business and performance milestones.

As part of the transaction, Ensign InfoSecurity - StarHub's joint venture with Temasek - will be issued preference shares and be fully entitled to the economic rights of D'Crypt. Following the transaction, StarHub will hold 60 per cent of the economic interest in D'Crypt through its shareholding and interest in Ensign.

The transaction is expected to be completed by November.

StarHub had acquired D'Crypt for some $122 million in 2017, and added the firm to its fledgling cyber security unit, which recently turned in a second-quarter operating loss of $900,000 in the period, against a profit of $4.1 million in the year-ago period.

Ensign chief executive Yeoh Keat Chuan said the acquisition will provide his company with "world-class engineering and cryptographic capabilities".

As part of the transaction, Ensign InfoSecurity - StarHub's joint venture with Temasek - will be issued preference shares and be fully entitled to the economic rights of D'Crypt.

"This will enhance its ability to provide advanced cyber-security solutions to secure enterprises and sectors against advanced threats in today's digital economy," he said, adding that D'Crypt will be able to leverage Ensign's presence in the Asia-Pacific to accelerate growth.

StarHub chief executive Peter Kaliaropoulos said the telco will be able to tap the expertise of both entities to gain competitive advantage for its enterprise, 5G and Internet of Things offerings.

"Consolidating such domain expertise allows Ensign to project unrivalled market leadership, accelerate the development of capabilities, fuel its business growth and expand regional reach," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2019, with the headline 'Temasek to buy StarHub's cryptographic tech firm for $100m'. Print Edition | Subscribe