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StarHub to fully acquire cybersecurity company Accel for SG$26m

Accel Systems & Technologies will become a wholly owned subsidiary of StarHub after the carrier acquires the remaining 49 percent stake for a maximum of SG$26.22 million.

Singaporean telecommunications provider StarHub has announced that it will acquire the remainder of cybersecurity provider Accel Systems & Technologies for a maximum of SG$26.22 million.

StarHub, which in May acquired a 51 percent controlling stake in Accel for SG$19.38 million, will acquire the remainder of the company in two stages: 29.4 percent in phase 2 in July, and 19.6 percent in phase 3, which will take place by the first quarter of 2020.

"Accel's cybersecurity solutions complement our network-based capabilities, making us well placed to compete in major government and commercial cybersecurity tenders," StarHub CEO Tan Tong Hai said.

"This acquisition further demonstrates our confidence in growing the enterprise business as we execute on our growth strategy."

The acquisition is subject to the fulfilment of mutual conditions, and will take place via a full cash payment.

StarHub's purchase is aimed at boosting its cybersecurity offerings in order to offer the "full spectrum" of cybersecurity products and services, as well as augmenting the research and development capacity of its Cyber Security Centre of Excellence.

On launching the centre in May 2016, StarHub had signed partnerships with Blue Coat, Fortinet, Wedge Networks, Republic Polytechnic, and Singapore University of Technology and Design, co-investing SG$200 million over five years to undertake initiatives aimed at boosting cybersecurity skills development and industry collaboration across Singapore.

StarHub also said it would be training more than 300 professionals in cybersecurity skills over the five-year period, in addition to working on R&D projects with its partners and with Singapore's Cyber Security Agency.

At the time, StarHub also launched a security operations centre (SOC) for 24/7 monitoring and threat detection across its core network.

"Cybersecurity is a top national and commercial security priority for Singapore as our smart nation vision takes shape, touching many aspects of our personal and business lives," Tan said at the time, adding that telcos have a "unique role" in cybersecurity via developing capabilities across their infrastructure.

StarHub in May announced a quarterly net profit of SG$73.1 million, down 21.3 percent year on year, on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of SG$160.7 million, down 12.4 percent.

Revenue remained stagnant, at SG$590.9 million, with the company making SG$296.2 million from mobile, SG$88.4 million from pay TV, and SG$53.7 million from broadband.

With enterprise fixed the only business making a significant gain during the first quarter of the year, contributing SG$98.7 million in revenue, which was SG$2.9 million more than Q1 last year, Tan said StarHub is focusing on expanding this segment.

"Driving growth in the enterprise business remains our priority, and we are on track to introduce new cybersecurity, IoT, and smart retail solutions to the market," the chief executive said.

"We will grow our enterprise digital services offerings."