Temasek picks up D'Crypt from StarHub

Transaction expected to close in November, with an initial cash payment of SG$100 million.

Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek has agreed to purchase security firm D'Crypt from StarHub and its founders for an initial consideration of SG$100 million, that with performance payments to the founders could see the total transaction cost reach as high as SG$133 million.

StarHub purchased D'Crypt in December 2017, with that transaction having a maximum cost of SG$122 million. Under that deal, StarHub picked up 65% at the time, with the remaining 35% to be gained from D'Crypt founders Dr Antony Ng, Chew Hwee Boon, and Dr Pang Liang Teck in the first half of 2021.

Under the deal announced on Thursday, D'Crypt will be placed within Ensign InfoSecurity.

Ensign was created in September as a joint venture between StarHub and Temasek subsidiary Leone, and took on StarHub cybersecurity company Accel -- in which it purchased a controlling stake in May 2017 for SG$19.4 million before agreeing to pick up the rest of the company in July 2017 for SG$26.2 million over three phases to end in 1Q of 2020 -- as well as Temasek-owned cyber company Quann.

Once the transaction is complete, thanks to its holding in Ensign, StarHub will have 60% of the economic interest in D'Crypt. The transaction is expected to close in November.

"Consolidating such domain expertise allows Ensign to project unrivalled market leadership, accelerate the development of capabilities, fuel its business growth and expand regional reach," StarHub CEO Peter Kaliaropoulos said.

"We are excited that through this strategic alignment, StarHub will be able to tap on the combined expertise of both entities to create competitive advantage for our enterprise, 5G and IoT offerings, and enable our corporate clients to benefit from digital transformation."

Earlier this week, StarHub announced its second quarter earnings, where it recorded a 10% drop in mobile services, an almost 25% drop in Pay TV revenue, a 2% drop in broadband services, and a 15% drop in equipment sales. The only division to head in a positive direction was its enterprise business, which grew by 15%.

Overall, this gave StarHub revenue of SG$553 million for the second quarter, a decrease of SG$44.5 million from this time last year.

For its mobile business, StarHub said it added 101,000 post-paid customers and lost 93,000 pre-paid customers compared to last year, with its average revenue per user (ARPU) dropping by SG$5 to SG$40.

On Thursday, compatriot and Temasek-owned Singtel announced its first quarter results, with a slight dip in revenue of SG$21 million to SG$4.1 billion alongside a 2% drop in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation to SG$1.18 billion reported.

Thanks to a SG$162 million exceptional loss by Airtel and increased depreciation, the Singaporean telco has seen its underlying net profit drop by 22% to SG$575 million and net profit fall 35% from SG$832 million to SG$541 million.

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