Dutch first for Summit Partners

The private equity firm’s London office has sourced its first deal in the Netherlands, acquiring a majority stake in CBI from existing shareholders including ABN AMRO Capital.

London and Boston-based private equity firm Summit Partners has announced a €39 million ($46 million) majority investment in Dutch mobile data encryption technology provider Control Break International (CBI).

Summit acquired its majority stake from existing shareholders, including ABN AMRO Capital, which has now fully exited its investment. CBI’s founder and management team will retain a “sizeable chunk of the company”, according to Scott Collins, head of Summit Partners’ London operations, who will join CBI’s board of directors along with Summit principal, Sotiris Lyritzis.

Collins: Looking to expand CBI internationally

Collins said that the acquisition – Summit Partners’ first in the Netherlands – was sourced in the typical “Summit way”, which involves cold calling business owners and intermediaries to find opportunities. “We identified the company when we were looking at security and data management about a year ago and developed a good relationship with the manager and management team,” he said.

“They have gone from being more of a niche Benelux player to having strong market opportunities in places like the US and Asia, so they were interested in bringing on a more global-oriented private equity firm,” he added.

Collins said he expected CBI to continue to focus on larger multinational customers and international expansion, as well as building the company through acquisitions. “They have made some acquisitions in the past, and while we’re not going to go out and buy up a bunch of businesses, we will be working with the team to selectively identify and assess good acquisition opportunities.”

CBI is a developer of encryption software and management systems enabling corporations to protect data integrity on mobile devices. The firm’s flagship software, Safeboot, currently has two million users, according to CBI. Founded in 1991, the business is headquartered in the Netherlands, with offices in the US, UK, Sweden, Germany, France and Belgium.

Summit Partners’ other European investments include: Berlin-based wireless content services provider Jamba; Ireland’s Web Reservations International; and the UK’s Actix, a mobile telephone network optimisation software firm, and B&W Loudspeaker, a loudspeaker manufacturer.