The three executives of cybersecurity company Fox-IT who were put on hold earlier this week, have made an attempt to get the company back into Dutch hands, De Volkskrant writes on Saturday based on insiders. According to the newspaper, the three had a plan in place with a Dutch investor to take over the Delft security company for approximately 100 million.
Board members Erik Ploegmakers (general manager), Jeremy Butcher (COO) and Jurgen Delfos (director crypto division) were put on hold on Tuesday. Fox-IT said it would then investigate the case internally, but there was still no explanation.
The newspaper writes that it has been messing around for years within the originally Dutch cyber security company. The company was bought by the British NCC Group in 2015 for 135 million euros. The takeover already caused some controversy, because Fox-IT guards Dutch state secrets, among other things. This raised concerns that these secrets could fall into the British through the acquisition. The military intelligence service MIVD therefore wanted more influence with the crypto division, which deals with the security of state secrets.
Tensions would only have intensified in recent years, partly due to the close relationship between Fox-IT and the Dutch government. NCC Group would not be happy with this, because this relationship does not yield much commercially.
Also, the British parent company would not appreciate the value of Fox Crypto enough. The publicly traded parent company would like to focus on continuous revenue, which is not in line with the crypto division's unpredictable earnings. This branch generates income from research into hacking incidents, among other things, and the number of incidents to be investigated fluctuates considerably. The three board members would therefore fear that NCC Group would destroy Fox-IT's "own identity" by focusing more on continuous income.
It is not known when the internal investigation will be completed.