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Smoothwall acquired for £75.5million


Leeds-based internet safety firm, Smoothwall, has been acquired by Family Zone for £75.5m in cash.

The listed Australian tech firm stated that it secured the acquisition through a competitive process which was managed by Smoothwall’s corporate advisers.

It will pay £65m on completion of the acquisition, which is scheduled for 12th August, with a further £10.5m payable on September 1st.

Family Zone also specialises in cyber safety, with its online platform enabling schools, parents and cyber safety teachers to collaborate.

“The acquisition of Smoothwall represents a unique opportunity for Family Zone as a highly complementary business of significant scale with an attractive target market customer base,” it said in a statement.

The combined operation will reach 9m students in the UK, USA and Australasia, with recurring revenues in excess of £23m.

Smoothwall’s products include: Filter, a real-time content-aware filtering system; Firewall, which is a protection package for companies and educational institutions; and Monitor which detects online risks, “before they become real-life incidents” such as bullying and radicalisation.

In 2017 its founders left following a MBO, led by Private Equity firm Tenzing. Georg Ell, who was previously Director of Western Europe at Tesla, joined as CEO.

“Over the past 4 years our team has worked hard to build new world-class capabilities, and the combination of these two innovative businesses is simply fantastic news for the next chapter at Smoothwall,” said Ell.

“We have strong shared values with Family Zone and this further powers our quest to create a unique and world-leading suite of digital safeguarding solutions for schools and their communities and to become the most trustworthy safeguarding technology provider in the world.”


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