Pamplona set for Cofense sale after year-long national security probe – report

Pamplona Capital Management is reportedly eyeing the sale of its stake in US cybersecurity company Cofense in the wake of a year-long probe into the business by national security regulators.

The Wall Street Journal said US national security officials told Pamplona, which is partly backed by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman, that it must sell its stake following the probe by The Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States.

Cofense said the CFIUS contacted it about a month after Pamplona’s investment in the business in February 2018, when the company was known as PhishMe.

Several more months of investigation by the committee of Pamplona followed, culminating in an agreement in October that Pamplona would complete a sale by July 10 this year.

It added that first round bids for the business were submitted on Wednesday this week, although did not reveal the identity of any of the potential investors.

Cofense specialises in defence against phishing attacks, in which hackers attempt to obtain sensitive information such as passwords by pretending to be legitimate entities.

Earlier this week cybersecurity specialist RedSeal picked up investment from private equity house Symphony Technology Group in a deal worth about $70m.

Last month cybersecurity awareness training and simulation platform KnowBe4 hit a valuation of more than $800m thanks to an investment from buyout giant KKR and Ten Eleven Ventures.

Copyright © 2019 RegTech Analyst

Copyright © 2018 RegTech Analyst

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