9 August 2021 – London, UK - Crossword Cybersecurity Plc (AIM:CCS, “Crossword”, the “Company” or the “Group”), the technology commercialisation company focused on cyber security and risk management, is pleased to announce, subsequent to its oversubscribed £5.0m fundraising, the acquisition of the whole of the share capital of Stega UK Limited (“Stega”), the threat intelligence and monitoring company referred to in Crossword’s announcement of 28 July 2021 has completed (the ‘Transaction’).
The acquisition brings the additional capability of threat intelligence and monitoring services, using its sophisticated in-house platform. It will bring circa 30 new clients to Crossword, primarily financial sector organisations, taking the total number of fee-paying consulting clients to over 100. The target company is currently breakeven on an annualised basis, with £605,000 revenue in its most recent full financial year ended 30 November 2020, 75% of which was recurring revenue. Stega had net assets of £49,667 at that date. Cross sell opportunities are being explored with the Stega’s management, alongside operating synergies.
Crossword Cybersecurity has agreed to pay a total consideration of up to £1.8m for Stega. The payments are structured as follows;
- an initial payment of £760,000 in cash, payable in three tranches; £600,000 on completion, £80,000 on the first anniversary of completion and £80,000 eighteen months following, completion;
- an initial payment of £200,000 in Company shares, issued in three tranches; £100,000 on completion, £50,000 on the first anniversary of completion and £50,000 eighteen months following, completion;
- On the first anniversary of the Transaction, up to £295,000 cash and £125,000 in Company shares payable on achievement of a revenue growth target of 24% during the 12 months following completion of the Transaction compared with revenue in the most recent annual accounts, with lesser payments for achievement of 50% and 75% of the growth target;
- Eighteen months following completion of the Transaction, up to £295,000 cash and £125,000 in Company shares payable on achievement of a growth target of 24% for revenue on an annualised basis during the six months following the first anniversary of completion of the Transaction (so for the period 12-18 months following the transaction completion) compared with revenue in the most recent annual accounts, with lesser payments for achievement of 50% and 75% of the growth target; and
- All shares will be issued at a price based on the average mid-market price for the three months prior to the date of issue.
Stega was established in November 2016 and has been run by its CEO Phil Ashley, since formation. Phil and his team will join Crossword and work alongside Crossword’s Consulting team.
Issue of Ordinary Shares
Crossword will issue the vendors 242,016 ordinary shares of 0.5p each (“Ordinary Shares”) at a price of 41.32p per share in consideration of the initial payment of shares worth £100,000.
Application has been made for the admission of the 242,016 Ordinary Shares to trading on AIM (“Admission”), with Admission expected to take place on or around 11 August 2021.
Total Voting Rights
For the purposes of the Financial Conduct Authority's Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules ("DTRs"), following Admission, Crossword will have 74,951,310 Ordinary Shares in issue with voting rights attached. Crossword holds no shares in treasury. This figure of 74,951,310 may be used by shareholders in the Company as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in the Company, under the DTRs.
Tom Ilube, CEO of Crossword Cybersecurity plc, commented: “Following our successful fundraise last week, I am pleased to welcome Phil Ashley and his team at Stega, to Crossword. Stega’s threat intelligence and monitoring services are a great addition to Crossword’s range of services which help to reduce cyber risks for our clients. Stega, Crossword’s second acquisition of 2021, will be an important part of our plans for continuing revenue growth.”
Phil Ashley, CEO of Stega UK Limited, commented: ”Stega is delighted to become part of Crossword at this exciting time. We are looking forward to offering our services to a wider customer base and using Crossword’s solid structure, strong connections and determined sales team to drive revenue growth.”
The information contained within this announcement is deemed to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014 which is part of UK law by virtue of the European Union (withdrawal) Act 2018. Upon the publication of this announcement, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.
Crossword Cybersecurity plc – Tel: +44 (0) 20 3953 8460
Tom Ilube, Chief Executive Officer
Mary Dowd, Chief Financial Officer
Grant Thornton (Nominated Adviser) – Tel: +44 (0) 20 7383 5100
Colin Aaronson / Lukas Girzadas
Hybridan LLP (Broker) – Tel: +44 (0)203 764 2341
Claire Louise Noyce
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About Crossword Cybersecurity plc
Crossword Cybersecurity plc focuses on the development and commercialisation of university research-based cyber security and risk management related software and cyber security consulting. The Group’s specialist cyber security product development and software engineering teams work with its university partners to develop the research concept into a fully-fledged commercial product that it will then take to market. The Group’s aim is to build up a portfolio of revenue generating, intellectual property based, cyber security products. Rizikon Assurance, Crossword’s leading product, is a SaaS platform that enables medium to large companies to assess and manage all risks from their suppliers. Nixer CyberML, Crossword’s most recently launched product, is a new tool for businesses that want to solve advanced security and cybercrime problems, such as detecting and dealing with compromised accounts, fraud, and in-application denial of service attacks. Crossword’s team of expert cyber security consultants leverages years of experience in national security, defence and commercial cyber intelligence and operations to provide bespoke advice tailored to its clients’ business needs.