Security Wind blows AIM float

Thursday 12th January 2017
Enigma machine & creator Alan Turing: Courtesy: BBC

Cyber is a hot issue at the moment, regardless of weather, and the Chancellor has recently set aside £1.9 billion for his new national cyber security strategy for UK's first National College of Cyber Security. This fittingly is set to open at historic Bletchley Park,  integral in cracking the Nazi Enigma code thanks to the creative brilliance of Alan Turing. The current development follows a range of recent hacks from San Francisco’s light rail system, throughTesco Bank and to the hacking of recruitment passwords at Michael Page, (below right). He levels the finger of blame at CapGemini's insecurity, with a development server being left online!

Now the security services  ECSC Group plc, Bradford-based provider of cyber security services to major blue-chip companies, announces its Intention to Float on AIM on 14th December.  As a result of the recent proliferation of high-profile cyber security breaches affecting some of the world’s most largest companies, cyber security becomes a strategic issue for company boards. That automatically accelerates its growth.

Highlights: 

  • Established business: UK based, proven provider of cyber security services founded in 2000  offers a comprehensive range of solutions
  • Blue-chip client base across a diverse range of sectors including Barclays and GCHQ 
  • Barriers to entry: extensive custom technologies with IP developed in-house. Services covered by a wide range of industry certifications
  • Strong financials: profitable, cash generative business with organic revenue CAGR of 16.9% 2013–2016 vs. estimated market CAGR of 6%
  • Highly experienced management team and board: with over 60 years’ combined management experience in cyber security

Board of Directors on Admission includes Nigel Payne, previously CEO of Sportingbet Plc, as Non-Executive Chairman; David Mathewson, former Chief Financial Officer of Playtech Group plc, as Non-Executive Director; and Steve Vaughan, previously Group Chief Executive Officer of publicly listed companies Phoenix IT plc, Communisis plc and Sunstar plc as well as being chairman of Charteris plc, also as a Non-Executive Director

The Company is proposing to raise approximately £5 million: through a placing of 2,994,011 new shares at a price of 167 pence per share giving the Company a £15m anticipated market capitalisation ECSC will use the proceeds of its IPO to dramatically scale up and accelerate its growth strategy. That includes quadrupling  the current headcount of some 50 to circa 200 by the end of 2018. It also to open an Australian Security Operations Centre (ASOC) to facilitate 24/7/365 global manned operations. 

Back in January 2010 the then Defence Signals Directorate established the Cyber Security Operations Centre to develop a comprehensive understanding of ICT security threats to critical Australian systems, and coordinate a response to those threats across government and industry. The CSOC has since evolved into the ACSC (Australian Cyber Security Centre), opened back in November 2014, and is the next evolution of Australia's cyber security capability.

Below: Courtesy ABC  Julia Gillard speaks at the Defence Signals Directorate

 

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