VASCO Announces Acquisition of Cronto

Zurich and Oakbrook Terrace, IL - 21 May 2013

  • Cronto offers a patented visual transaction signing solution for financial sector
  • Acquisition provides technology for VASCO’s core banking market and MYDIGIPASS.COM
  • Strengthens VASCO’s innovation initiatives

VASCO Data Security International, Inc. (NASDAQ: VDSI), a leading software security company specializing in authentication products and services, today announced its acquisition of Cronto, of Cambridge (UK), a provider of secure visual transaction authentication solutions for online banking. VASCO acquired all of the stock of Cronto in exchange for an initial cash consideration of Euro 15 million and contingent cash consideration in the form of an earn-out of up to a maximum of Euro 2 million (combined, approximately $21.9 million using the exchange rate of 1.29). The acquisition was financed from VASCO’s existing cash balances. The acquisition is expected to be dilutive in 2013, due in large part to the amortization of purchased intangible assets. The acquisition is expected to be accretive in 2014.

Cronto was founded in 2005 as a University of Cambridge spin-out and is the market leader in the field of secure visual transaction authentication and signature solutions for online banking applications. The CrontoSign solution (also known as photoTAN) has been chosen to secure transactions of customers of leading German and Swiss banks such as Commerzbank AG and Raiffeisen Switzerland.

Cronto’s patented CrontoSign technology is a simple, user friendly and effective way to withstand even very sophisticated attacks by Trojan malware, targeting online banking services. CrontoSign protects against such attacks as it allows the bank to establish a secure optical communication channel with the client. Account holders can simply “scan” a CrontoSign image displayed on their bank’s website and verify the details of the payment on a trusted display. They can choose between the CrontoSign mobile application or a dedicated CrontoSign hardware device.

VASCO will add the patented CrontoSign products to its offerings for the global banking market. In a later phase, VASCO anticipates that Cronto’s products will be integrated into MYDIGIPASS.COM, VASCO’s strong authentication platform to secure the consumers’ online applications/accounts.

VASCO expects that Cronto will contribute greatly to VASCO’s future innovation efforts, due to its knowledge and expertise in advanced statistical data analysis and machine learning algorithms that underpins high speed and reliability of image based transactions and due to its close ties with the University of Cambridge.

“The acquisition of Cronto is a strong example of VASCO investing in its future growth,” states T. Kendall Hunt, VASCO’s Chairman and CEO. “Through our make-or-buy strategy for new technologies, we will keep scanning the market for suitable companies to join VASCO. Today, we would like to welcome Cronto’s management and staff into the VASCO family.”

“Our objectives are to reinforce our leadership position in the banking authentication market and to become a successful business-to-consumer authentication services provider. The acquisition of Cronto is a significant step forward in helping us achieve both objectives,” says Jan Valcke, VASCO’s President and COO. “Cronto adds important innovative authentication technology to VASCO’s technology portfolio, traditionally a point of attention for a market driven company like VASCO.”

“CrontoSign helps to bring trust in the online environment and to protect against Man-in-the-Browser and social engineering attacks. It is also highly accepted by the end users due to the simplicity of its operations, delivering the secure “What you see is what you sign (WYSIWYS)” experience at one touch of a button.” said Igor Drokov, CEO and co-founder of Cronto. “Joining forces with VASCO will allow us to leverage their leading position in the global authentication & security market bringing this and future products to new customers and new applications worldwide.”

Dr. Elena Punskaya, Cronto’s co-founder and CTO added: “The combination of the experience and R&D capacity will allow Cronto and VASCO to continue to identify new opportunities and implement the market vision, taking advantage of Cronto’s position in Cambridge, UK – an undisputed centre in the global innovation landscape.”

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