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Absolute Software acquires Seattle’s NetMotion for US$340m

All-cash deal sees security firms teaming up
Absolute Software CEO Christy Wyatt | submitted

Absolute Software Corp. (TSX:ABST) is expanding its reach into cyber security a little further.

The Vancouver-based firm revealed Monday it’s completed the $340-million purchase of Seattle’s NetMotion Software Inc.

The all-cash deal sees Absolute tapping US$65 million from its own balance sheet to cover part of the costs, while a six-year, US$275-million loan from Benefit Street Partners LLC will finance the remainder of the acquisition.

Absolute is best known for providing protection to more than 500 million devices in the corporate world, while NetMotion also specializes in securing enterprise devices for 3,000 organizations.

The Vancouver company said the acquisition would offer customers more overall security.

CEO Christy Wyatt told BIV last year the rapid adoption of remote working brought on by the pandemic was intensifying the need for companies to secure their devices for workers.

“They’re looking at new ways to compromise both individuals and industries because then they’re catching us while we’re all off guard,” Wyatt said, noting many devices had not once been taken out of the office prior to the pandemic.

“There’s an opportunity for security companies and technology companies to step up.”

Absolute, which employs just under 300 workers, saw its revenue climb 18% annually in the third quarter of this year to hit US$30.7 million. Net income fell slightly during, going from US$2.3 million to US$2.2 million between Q3 2020 and Q3 2021.˙

Meanwhile, NetMotion opened its own office in B.C. back in fall of 2019 — long prior to the acquisition deal — as part of its own bid to navigate hiring challenges in the U.S.

“Victoria is really booming for software development and the programming world,” NetMotion chief marketing officer Joel Windels, a Briton who relocated from Seattle to open the Victoria office, told BIV at the time.

“Really quite senior and talented people are moving to the city.”

Windels said Canada’s immigration policies have been more “welcoming” than those in the U.S.

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