A man walks past Sunrise and Orange stan...A man walks past Sunrise and Orange stands in a shop in Zurich on November 25, 2009. France Telecom and Danish group TDC said on November 25 that they had agreed to merge their Swiss subsidiaries, with the French group to pay 1.5 billion euros for a majority stake in the new entity. This values the new entity Orange Suisse, formed from France Telecom's Orange Communications and TDC's Sunrise Communications, at 2.1 billion euros.
 AFP PHOTO / SEBASTIAN DERUNGS (Photo credit should read SEBASTIAN DERUNGS/AFP/Getty Images)

Orange has made its biggest move into the cyber security market after acquiring Belgian technology company SecureLink in a deal that values the company at €515m including debt.

SecureLink, based near Antwerp, is owned by Investcorp and its management and operates in eight European countries. It had €248m of revenue in 2018. It issued a convertible bond on the Oslo stock exchange in February to raise €150m.

It is Orange’s largest acquisition since it acquired some Airtel assets in west Africa in 2016 and the second significant cyber security acquisition that Orange has made this year. It acquired UK security company SecureData in February for an undisclosed sum.

The French company has identified cyber security and banking as new growth areas for its traditional telecoms business. BT has also targeted security as a growth area within its Global Services division and employs 2,600 workers across the world.

Orange said its cyber businesses, including its own Orange Cyberdefence whose sales grew 12 per cent last year and the acquired companies, now employ 1,800 people across Europe’s largest markets and would have had pro forma revenue of €600m last year. The cyber business works alongside Orange Business Services which has 3,000 multinational customers.

Hugues Foulon, executive director of cyber security at Orange, said the deal would transform the telecoms company into the “go-to defence specialist” due to its size and the geographic spread of the acquired businesses. “Cybersecurity is a growing priority for companies of all sizes and we believe the two most important success factors are scale and proximity,” he said.

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