- OpSec Group’s portfolio of products, services, and solutions is designed to address the end-to-end lifecycle of brand and IP optimization, monetization, and protection.
- Investcorp Europe believes OpSec Group’s financial results are compelling with approximately $218 million in estimated pro-forma total revenue in Fiscal 2023 (ended March 31, 2023) along with EBITDA margin expansion from fiscal 2021 through fiscal 2023.
- Anticipated pro-forma enterprise value of the combined company is approximately $426 million.
- This transaction is supported by a $50 million backstop by the sponsor of Investcorp Europe, with up to $199 million in gross transaction proceeds available to OpSec Group subject to redemptions by Investcorp Europe shareholders.
- The transaction will partially fund growth initiatives and expand the portfolio of OpSec Group’s core solutions through product development and potential acquisitions.
- A webcast of a conference call with OpSec Group and Investcorp Europe leadership and associated investor presentation is available at https://www.opsecsecurity.com/investors/.
Bahrain — OpSec Group, a global leader in brand protection solutions and intellectual property (IP) management, and Investcorp Europe Acquisition Corp I (Nasdaq: IVCB) (“Investcorp Europe”), a special purpose acquisition company, today announced they have entered into a definitive business combination agreement that would result in OpSec Group becoming a public company. Upon closing of the proposed business combination, the newly combined company will operate as OpSec Group.
OpSec Group is a global leader in the management and protection of brands and intellectual property. It helps enterprises optimize, monetize, and protect the value of their identities, ideas, and assets through a range of technology-enabled services, products and solutions. Approximately 5,000 of the world’s most recognized brands across media and technology, sports and apparel, and consumer and industrial products, as well as governments and financial institutions, trust OpSec to help realize the value and ensure the integrity of their physical and digital IP and brand portfolios, from trademarks and technology to products and content. OpSec is currently a portfolio company managed by Investcorp Technology Partners, which is an affiliate of Investcorp Europe’s sponsor, and after the proposed business combination a fund managed by a member within Investcorp Europe’s parent company, Investcorp Holdings B.S.C., will continue to hold a controlling economic and voting interest.
On April 18, 2023, OpSec Group acquired Zacco, a leading intellectual property management and protection company, headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. Bringing with it both a significant heritage and a pioneering approach to IP, Zacco has focused on helping customers build and maintain their brand ideas, identity, and technology within a conventional IP framework. OpSec Group will combine the respective strengths of the two businesses to help customers maximize the value of their IP portfolios, take advantage of new opportunities, and counter vulnerabilities and threats that these may bring.
For the combined OpSec Group, which includes Zacco, pro-forma fiscal 2023 revenue is expected to be approximately $218 million. As a percentage of total, 95% of OpSec’s total revenue is reoccurring and based on established contractual relationships. OpSec Group has a strong track record in client service and quality with approximately 90% retention annually across a base of more than 5,000 customers. In combination with these strong revenue dynamics, EBITDA margins have expanded from fiscal 2021 through fiscal 2023.
Over the company’s multi-decade history, OpSec Group has grown into a market leader in brand protection and IP management, through a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions. OpSec operates across six principal market segments including:
- IP portfolio management includes advisory and managed services across the IP lifecycle, from undertaking IP portfolio audits, strategies, and registrations, to related IP and digital services such as validations, renewals, monitoring, and digital asset management.
- Brand solutions includes licensing, merchandising, brand enhancement, and product traceability. It typically combines physical products, such as security labels or apparel trim, with software that underpins licensing programs and supply chain or channel compliance.
- Online brand protection includes technology enabled services to detect and enforce against trademark infringements, notably counterfeit selling and imitation of brand identity, and damage to reputation that can result from fraudulent impersonation of brands.
- Online media protection includes technology enabled services to detect and enforce against online infringements of copyrighted digital media, in particular video and music.
- Transaction cards includes high security authentication features for payment cards, which are specified by the owners of global payment networks and applied by the card issuers.
- Government solutions includes indirect taxation schemes for controlled products, such as alcohol and tobacco, as well as government issued identity and other official documents.
“OpSec Group was founded with the mission to become a leader in brand protection and enhancement,” said Dr. Selva Selvaratnam, CEO of OpSec Group. “Our aim is to bring innovation to the way in which enterprises create and safeguard the significant intangible value that is embodied in their brands and products. With the global value of counterfeiting and piracy estimated at $2.8 trillion in 2022, the threat posed by the imitators, content pirates, and fraudsters is profound, and looks set to increase further given continued growth in e-commerce, online content, and social media. Creating, nurturing, and protecting intellectual property and brand identities in this environment has unquestionably become one of the defining priorities for leading enterprises. We are thrilled to partner with Investcorp Europe to expand our presence in this arena and take advantage of the growth opportunity ahead.”
At OpSec Group, materials scientists, optical engineers, and product designers work alongside IP professionals, investigators, online analysts, and software engineers. Its global team of approximately 1,300 people work to ensure the integrity of brands and their IP around the world, operating from secure production facilities, design labs, service hubs, and a security operations center. Innovation is at the heart of OpSec Group, with a strong emphasis on engineering talent and a roadmap of compelling new products, services, and solutions.
“All of us at Investcorp Europe are incredibly excited to be partnering with OpSec Group on this transaction. Selva and the impressive OpSec Group leadership team have deep expertise across all aspects of IP and brand optimization, monetization and protection,” said Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith C.B.E., CEO of Investcorp Europe. “They have built a solid offering that safeguards some of the world’s most iconic brands, and I believe that OpSec Group is very well positioned to deliver long-term value for all stakeholders.”
“Our objective since founding Investcorp Europe has been to both identify and assist a company in its transition to the public markets and perhaps more importantly to introduce a differentiated opportunity that Investcorp Europe believes would be compelling and attractive to our shareholders,” said Hazem Ben-Gacem, Chairman of Investcorp Europe and also a Co-CEO at Investcorp Holdings B.S.C. “We believe the OpSec Group represents a great opportunity to invest in a truly global, category defining leader in the brand protection and enhancement fields, and that the structure of this transaction will position this business to have the opportunity to execute on an even broader scale.”
OpSec Group Investment Highlights
- A leading global provider in IP/brand optimization, monetization, and protection with a complete end-to-end offering.
- Large, fast growing addressable markets, benefitting from a number of macro trends driving increased spend in IP/brand.
- Innovation-driven, with solutions enhanced by proprietary technology and modern software platforms.
- Exceptional caliber of customer base, representing approximately two-thirds of the world’s Interbrand 100 Best Global Brands.
- Strong management team with decades of experience and successful track record of M&A and integration.
- Significant runway for growth through continued expansion into existing/adjacent markets and capabilities, including through M&A.
- Compelling financials underpinned by highly reoccurring revenue base and strong growth and profitability.
The pro forma enterprise value of the combined company is approximately $426 million. This transaction is supported by a $50 million backstop by the sponsor of Investcorp Europe, with up to $199 million in gross transaction proceeds available subject to redemptions by Investcorp Europe shareholders. Any incremental proceeds to be held on balance sheet, with current investors rolling 96% of their pro forma ownership.
The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of OpSec Group and Investcorp Europe, including a special committee of the board of directors of Investcorp Europe formed for the purpose of evaluating the transaction, is subject to approval by Investcorp Europe shareholders and other customary closing conditions, including the receipt of certain regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the second half of 2023.
Additional information about the proposed transaction, including a copy of the business combination agreement and investor presentation, will be provided in a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed by Investcorp Europe with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and will be available at www.sec.gov. OpSec Holdings, a newly formed exempted company incorporated with limited liability in the Cayman Islands (“OpSec Holdings”), will be the surviving public company following the consummation of the business combination, and will file a registration statement (which will contain a proxy statement and prospectus) with the SEC in connection with the transaction.