SaaS cybersecurity company ZeroFox said on Monday that it has completed a deal to acquire digital privacy protection platform IDX and merge with special purpose acquisition company L&F Acquisition Corp. to create a new entity with an expected equity value of approximately $1.4 billion.
The company will be renamed ZeroFox Holdings once the deal goes through and will have the ticker symbol "ZFOX." The companies expect the deal to close in the first half of 2022.
Monarch Alternative Capital LP and several other firms are also investing $170 million in the deal to merge the companies.
James Foster, chairman and CEO of ZeroFox, said the transaction allows them to create "the industry's first publicly traded company that is focused on providing an enterprise external cybersecurity SaaS platform."
"We intend to leverage this growth capital to continue investing in our artificial intelligence capabilities, scaling our go-to-market efforts, and expanding our world-class team," Foster said.
The company was founded in 2013 and now has customers in more than 50 countries.
Foster told ZDNet that the merger is their best path forward in the current market environment because it provides all the benefits that come from an IPO and being traded on the New York Stock Exchange, without requiring them to go through a traditional IPO process, which he called "restrictive, time-consuming, costly and uncertain."
"Becoming a publicly traded company is the logical next step to supporting our development and accelerating our growth. This new source of capital will provide greater financial flexibility, in addition to the necessary scale and resources to effectively execute against our go-to-market strategy," Foster explained, adding that IDX is "the nation's largest provider of data breach response services."
"The combined SaaS business will have over 650 employees and serve approximately 1,700 customers including five of the Fortune Top 10 and the largest companies in media, technology, retail, and energy. Collectively, over 90% of our revenues will be recurring platform subscriptions. The platform will process billions of data elements and protect tens of millions of digital assets around the world."
IDX CEO Tom Kelly said the deal with ZeroFox is the result of a long-standing partnership between the two companies.
Adam Gerchen, CEO of LNFA and a new ZeroFox board member, noted that the company is aiming to get a slice of the $51 billion external cybersecurity and digital protection market.