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DigiCert completes $45m purchase of QuoVadis

QuoVadis, a technology company launched in Bermuda 20 years ago, has been sold to an American firm for $45 million.

The proposed takeover by DigiCert was announced in November and yesterday the companies confirmed the deal had closed.

DigiCert acquired QuoVadis from its previous owner, Swiss-based WiseKey International Holdings Ltd, which bought the Bermuda-born firm in 2017.

Additional QuoVadis data centre assets remain subject to approval of the Regulatory Authority of Bermuda and are expected to transfer to DigiCert in the near future. Meanwhile, WiseKey will provide transition services to DigiCert for those assets.

DigiCert is backed and majority-owned by US private-equity giant Thoma Bravo, which manages about $20 billion of investments.

Thoma Bravo has led 60 total platform acquisitions in technology over the past 15 years, as well as an additional 125 add-on acquisitions, representing approximately $49 billion in value.

QuoVadis was founded in Bermuda by Tony Nagel, Roman Brunner and Stephen Davidson, and was the first Authorised Certification Services Provider under Bermuda's Electronic Transactions Act 1999, enabling legally valid digital signatures.

The company was originally backed by eVentureCentre, a unit of Centre Solutions, later Zurich Financial Services. In 2003, QuoVadis underwent a management-led buyout, backed by KeyTech and US-based private equity firm ABRY Partners.

The Bermudian-based company then expanded to Europe, first setting up operations in Switzerland, and later in the Netherlands, Britain, Germany, and Belgium.

DigiCert is the world's leading provider of Transfer Layer Security/Secure Sockets Layer, “internet of things” and other Public Key Infrastructure solutions.

Under its new ownership, QuoVadis will continue as a European Union and Swiss Trust Service Provider, specialising in qualified digital certificates and related services for Europe, as well as enterprise-managed PKI services.

The acquisition aligns with DigiCert's vision of providing the world's most globally dispersed and robust PKI-based solutions with local support.

“We are excited to welcome the QuoVadis team and technology to DigiCert, as we look to continue to serve our partners and customers with industry-leading solutions,” said DigiCert chief executive John Merrill. “The European market, like many parts of the world, has specific country and regional needs that can best be served with locally based teams and technology. The QuoVadis acquisition supports our commitment to Europe, combining our technology innovation with on-the-ground experts in the region.”

With the acquisition, QuoVadis Qualified digital certificates will be backed by DigiCert. QuoVadis qualified digital certificates comply with eIDAS, the EU's regulation on trust services for electronic transactions in the European single market, and may be used across borders of EU member states and in Switzerland.

QuoVadis services include the following:

• Qualified certificates for website authentication

• Qualified personal certificates

• Qualified electronic time stamps

• Qualified electronic signatures and seals, including software and cloud signing options

Under eIDAS, qualified trust services provide legal certainty and increased security of electronic transactions. Beginning in June, the EU Payment Services Directive 2015/2366 will require banking and financial services companies doing business in the EU to use qualified website certificates for stronger identity assurance. Through the QuoVadis acquisition, DigiCert will be able to provide these certificates to help organisations to comply with the Payment Services Directive.

DigiCert will also support QuoVadis's plans to expand its technology footprint with an emphasis on migrating PKI services to data centres in the Netherlands and Switzerland to provide customers with enhanced privacy and data protection services.

QuoVadis's trust centre operations are compliant with international standards and have received numerous accreditations, including WebTrust, ISO and country-specific approvals.

Additionally, through QuoVadis, DigiCert will become a leader in data integrity management for electronic records, digital signature technology for banking and e-invoicing applications, as well as remote digital signature solutions to enable signatures from any device.

Welcome acquisition: John Merrill, chief executive of DigiCert

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Published January 18, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated January 18, 2019 at 8:12 am)

DigiCert completes $45m purchase of QuoVadis

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