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10 February, 2006 - 16:45 By Staff Reporter

nCipher the latest of the region's technology pioneers to be bought by the Americans

nCipher, the Cambridge internet security specialist, is being acquired by American company SafeNet for £86.1m cash.nCipher, the Cambridge internet security specialist, is being acquired by American company SafeNet for £86.1m cash.

The deal comes in nCipher’s 10th anniversary year and has been recommended by both boards.

The recommended offer equates to 300 pence in cash for each nCipher share.

SafeNet, based in Maryland, considers the acquisition of nCipher to be an attractive opportunity to add important expertise and capabilities, reinforcing its leading position in the broad IT security market.

It is SafeNet’s 11th acquisition in the past six years and the deal is expected to close in April. The acquisition will also provide SafeNet with additional focus on key emerging technologies and vertical market applications such as data protection, payments systems, enterprise key management and identity management. Its profile in Europe would be significantly enhanced.

SafeNet chairman & CEO Anthony Caputo said: “SafeNet greatly admires nCipher and the work that it has done in encryption technology. We believe strongly in its product lines and will look to provide those products wider distribution while also coupling them with other SafeNet technologies in unique bundled security solutions.

“In addition, nCipher's management and employees are world class and will complement SafeNet's team.”

An American analyst said this was a great deal for SafeNet. “nCipher has a strong relationship with Microsoft, for example. It is an almost $30 million-a-year company that is growing 18 per cent to 20 per cent a year,” he said.

Alex van Someren, CEO of nCipher, added: "nCipher has built a strong business both organically and through strategic acquisition. This proposed merger with SafeNet will accelerate our growth as we leverage SafeNet's distribution channels, global footprint and comprehensive product portfolio.

“We believe that this merger will create a strong and successful presence in the IT security industry and is in the best interests of our shareholders, customers and employees. ”

Founded in 1996 by brothers Alex and Dr Nicko van Someren, nCipher develops Internet security products that optimize the use of cryptography to protect critical points of risk – web infrastructure, authentication systems, databases, and payment processing networks –across the enterprise.

By making cryptography more secure, easier to manage and performance-driven, nCipher helps organisations protect valuable information resources and close gaps in their security infrastructure.

nCipher’s products are particularly well suited to organisations with high volumes of security-sensitive transactions and those that act as guardians of valuable information, such as financial institutions, government agencies, technology companies, pharmaceutical companies, utilities and online service providers.

The company is headquartered in Cambridge, UK with offices in Boston, Washington, Hamburg and Tokyo.

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