LONDON, UK: GB Group plc (LON: GBG) has conditionally agreed to acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Acuant for a cash free, debt free enterprise value of $736 million (c.£547 million).
The combination will create a global leader in Identity Verification and Identity Fraud prevention; and materially increases GB Group’s US presence and primes the enlarged group for accelerated global expansion.
Moreover, complementary customer base provides the enlarged group with significant cross-selling opportunities and customer vertical diversification.
Acuant, a leading US Identity Verification and Identity Fraud prevention business, is a fast-growing, profitable and cash generative business which is strategically aligned with GB Group and is expected to enhance the enlarged group’s revenue growth while maintaining its robust margin profile
For the twelve months ended 30 September 2021 Acuant generated $58.1 million in revenue, an increase of 22% on the year to 30 September 2020, with the business continuing to trade strongly on a like-for-like basis GB intends to finance the Acquisition and associated expenses through a cash box placing of new ordinary shares to institutional investors raising £300 million.
Chris Clark, GB Group CEO, commented: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Acuant. This is a business that we have worked with – and admired – for many years. The combination of our two businesses is a complementary and powerful one. Together, we are creating a global leader in Identity Verification as well as strengthening our capability to capitalise on the adjacent, emerging and fast growing Identify Fraud market.
The US is the largest and most strategic market for location, identity and fraud services. The combination of GBG and Acuant accelerates our share in this market, increasing scale, customer base and introducing us to new and exciting sectors. As importantly, it also strengthens the breadth of our technology portfolio which we can use to support our current customers in new ways in growth geographies such as APAC and Europe, where we already have a strong footprint.
The team at Acuant bring new skills and talent to GBG, an aligned culture and a shared vision to enable trust in the digital economy. We look forward to welcoming these new colleagues to the GBG family and are excited about the potential of the combined businesses and the acceleration this gives to our growth and strategic goals.”
Yossi Zekri, Acuant’s President and CEO, commented: “This is an exciting day for Acuant. We are very proud of everything that Acuant has achieved to date – building a world class technology portfolio and a strong market position in the US across multiple sectors.
There is still significant opportunity ahead and we feel that being part of GBG is the best way for us to capitalise on those opportunities. Our customer, technology and geographical mix is highly complementary and culturally we are aligned both in how we invest in our people and look after our customers. We are very much looking forward to working together in the years ahead!”