Medina Capital, BC Partners Form Security Joint Venture

The two private equity firms combine Cryptzone, Catbird, Easy Solutions and Brainspace, as well as CenturyLink's colocation and data center businesses, in a bid to build a security powerhouse.

security firms

A new security conglomerate is taking shape as private equity firms Medina Capital and BC Partners announced on Nov. 4 the acquisition of security firms Cryptzone, Catbird, Easy Solutions and Brainspace. Medina Capital and BC Partners are also acquiring the colocation and data center business from CenturyLink in a related deal, valued at $2.3 billion.

The funds from the sale of its colocation and data center assets will help CenturyLink finance its $34 billion acquisition of Level 3 that was announced on Oct. 31. Medina Capital and BC Partners will pick up 57 global data centers from CenturyLink as part of the transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter 2017, providing 2.6 million square feet of capacity and more than 3,500 customers.

"The CenturyLink assets and the four companies will now all be under the umbrella of a new company," Barry Field, partner at Medina Capital, told eWEEK.

Branding for the new joint venture company will be announced at a future date, Field added. The four cyber-security vendors were all previously part of Medina Capital's investment portfolio and are now being acquired as part of the new BC Partners/Medina Capital joint venture. While the acquisition price for the CenturyLink assets has been made public, the price for the security vendors is not being publicly disclosed.

The four security vendors offer different capabilities, though there is some alignment around the idea of enabling a software-defined perimeter. Cryptzone provides user access control technology in an effort to help reduce the attack surface of an organization. The company updated its AppGate Software-Defined Perimeter (SDP) platform on Oct. 31, enhancing the user onboarding process as well as providing high-availability capabilities.

Catbird bills itself as a software-defined security vendor for virtual infrastructure and helps to enable what it refers to as software-defined segmentation and security for hybrid IT infrastructures.

Easy Solutions—a digital fraud protection vendor—fits into a different segment of the security market. In August, Easy Solutions announced the initial public beta of its Swordphish predictive phishing and malware risk assessment technology.

The fourth vendor, Brainspace, is also positioned in a different segment of the security market, providing its users with machine learning and analytics technology that helps in security investigations.

"The acquired companies will come together as a single global business built to provide secure infrastructure services," Field said.

While the joint venture is an effort to bring the four cyber-security vendors together, Field noted that the vendors' individual products and services will continue to be available separately.

"The focus of this acquisition is the growth opportunity to build a secure infrastructure company," he said. "While there are clear synergies, we expect to expand our worldwide operations as we grow the business."

Overall, the combination of the four security vendors with the CenturyLink data center assets is about recognizing the needs of current market dynamics. Field noted that organizations are increasingly leveraging the cloud within a hybrid model, with applications and data running on dedicated infrastructure, private clouds and public clouds.

"The combination of a global footprint of world-class data centers and our security and analytics capabilities will allow us to provide a uniquely secured, connected platform to span these architectures, helping enterprises, government agencies and service providers connect and protect their infrastructure and applications," he said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.