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WISeKey completes the first phase of the acquisition of arago by taking controlling interest
Zug/Geneva, Switzerland – November 19, 2020 – WISeKey International Holding Ltd (“WISeKey”) (SIX: WIHN), a leading cybersecurity company and arago GmbH ("arago"), a leading German technology company that provides Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) to enterprises globally through Knowledge Automation, announced today that they reached a binding agreement for WISeKey to acquire, through conversion of loan commitments and guaranteeing the arago existing indebtedness, a majority interest of 51% in arago. Previous transactions involving shares in arago have determined arago's net value at around CHF 100 million.
The acquisition of a controlling interest in arago is the initial step in an overall transaction which would lead to a combination of the businesses of WISeKey and arago. As set out in the non-binding term sheet previously announced, the combination would be completed through the issuance by WISeKey of new Class B shares to arago’s remaining minority shareholder against contribution by arago's minority shareholder of the remaining arago shares to WISeKey. arago's remaining shareholder would then hold a significant minority stake in WISeKey. The transaction is subject to the parties agreeing on definitive agreements, including the respective relative valuations. The subsequent completion of definitive agreements would, among other things, be conditional upon obtaining the required regulatory and other standard authorizations, including the listing of the new WISeKey Class B shares.
arago has a large recurring customer base and licensing model which is expected to bring significant synergies to WISeKey and strengthen WISeKey's position in the fast-growing Artificial Intelligence of Things (“AIoT”) market. The ability to authenticate and remotely manage millions of networked, automated devices and equipment is becoming pervasive: from the factory floor, to the hospital operating room, to the residential home, everything from refrigerators, watches and wearables, to wine bottles, is connecting and communicating via the Internet. The Internet of Things (“IoT”) security market is expected to reach nearly USD 29 billion in 2020 according to ‘Markets and Markets’, growing at an annual rate of 35%. These massively deployed connected objects are facing regular attacks, hence generating a large need for trusted end-to-end cybersecurity solutions. The increasing AI and IoT convergence is one of the primary factors that is driving the growth of the market. Over the past five years, a rapid surge in the adoption of AIoT cloud services has been witnessed. It is driven by its capabilities to provide enterprise-wide array of resources they can utilize to scale, orchestrate, and support their operations.
arago GmbH, Frankfurt am Main (AG Frankfurt, HRB 100909), is a German technology private company which aim is to provide the benefits of Artificial Intelligence to enterprise customers globally through Knowledge Automation. Founded in 1995, the company develops and uses modern technologies such as inference and machine learning in order to automatically operate any business process.
WISeKey (NASDAQ: WKEY; SIX Swiss Exchange: WIHN) is a leading global cybersecurity company currently deploying large scale digital identity ecosystems for people and objects using Blockchain, AI and IoT respecting the Human as the Fulcrum of the Internet. WISeKey microprocessors secure the pervasive computing shaping today’s Internet of Everything. WISeKey IoT has an install base of over 1.5 billion microchips in virtually all IoT sectors (connected cars, smart cities, drones, agricultural sensors, anti-counterfeiting, smart lighting, servers, computers, mobile phones, crypto tokens etc.). WISeKey is uniquely positioned to be at the edge of IoT as our semiconductors produce a huge amount of Big Data that, when analyzed with Artificial Intelligence (AI), can help industrial applications to predict the failure of their equipment before it happens.
WISeKeys' technology is trusted by the OISTE/WISeKey’s Swiss based cryptographic Root of Trust (“RoT”) and provides secure authentication and identification, in both physical and virtual environments, for the Internet of Things, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence. The WISeKey RoT serves as a common trust anchor to ensure the integrity of online transactions among objects and between objects and people. For more information, visit www.wisekey.com.
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