beTRUSTed moves on TruSecure?

Rumours of the imminent acquisition of IT security firm TruSecure by beTRUSTed have been neither confirmed or denied by the two companies.U.

Rumours of the imminent acquisition of IT security firm TruSecure by beTRUSTed have been neither confirmed or denied by the two companies.

U.S.-headquartered TruSecure would be just one more in a long line of acquisitions by beTRUSTed, which has already gobbled up SecureNet and 90East in Australia. TruSecure recently ramped up its Australian operations, taking on more staff in an aggressive sales push.

Sources tell ZDNet Australia  there's likely to be an announcement on Monday, with a beTRUSTed spokesman saying only "we have no announcement at this time".

It's thought the acquisition will result in a re-branded company named CyberTrust. The domain name Cybertrust.com has been registered to TruSecure, with NetworkSolutions data showing the domain record was created on 14 September.

TruSecure, which runs the ICSA security product certification labs, lauded its naming as a "early leader in security risk management" by the Yankee Group, a U.S.-based research firm, as recently as Wednesday in a press release. The company's investors include analysis and research firm Gartner, and J.P. Morgan partners.

BeTRUSTed was acquired from PricewaterhouseCoopers in January last year by One Equity Partners, a private equity management business of a major US bank, Bank One.

In July, 2003, beTRUSTed acquired ASX listed firm SecureNet for AU$110 million, at AU$1.57 cash per share--a 78 percent premium on the company's AU$0.88 per share list price. Its Asia Pacific chief, Paul O'Rourke, said the company's strategy was to develop an "unparalleled global reach and support" capability to accelerate its "capacity to pursue further growth, both organically and through acquisition".

Prior to the acquisition, controversial former stockbroker Rene Rivkin had bought a share in SecureNet and sought to have the company's large cash reserves returned to shareholders. At the time, SecureNet's cash reserves were worth more than the company itself, based on its share price. Rivkin's attempt was unsuccessful.

Following the high-profile acquisition, beTRUSTEed moved in on 90East, a major supplier of security services to the government, in November, snapping up the private company for an undisclosed sum.

A spokesman for TruSecure would not comment.

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