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May 2022


Sonae IM signs agreement with Thales to sell Maxive Cybersecurity, the holding company that consolidates two of Europe’s leading MSSP cybersecurity companies S21sec and Excellium

  • For Sonae Investment Management, this operation represents an important success in the MSSP build-up strategy that was initiated in 2014 with the acquisition of S21sec, followed by investments in Sysvalue, Nextel and Excellium in 2018.

  • Maxive Cybersecurity’s operations complement Thales’ businesses and will accelerate the Group’s cybersecurity development roadmap, expanding its European footprint in Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg, and Belgium.

Sonae IM today signed an agreement to sell Maxive Cybersecurity, a holding company that aggregates S21sec and Excellium, two of the major pure players in cybersecurity consulting, integration, and managed security services in Europe. Formed in 2020 by the merger between the independent companies S21Sec and Excellium, led by Sonae IM, Maxive Cybersecurity provides cybersecurity incident detection and response services (Security Operations Centre – SOC) as well as consulting, audit, and integration services for IT, OT and Cloud.

For Sonae Investment Management, this operation represents an important success in the MSSP build-up strategy that was initiated in 2014 with the acquisition of S21sec, and encompassed by several other investments, including Excellium in 2018.

Thales’s cybersecurity activities account for 1 billion euros in annual sales. The Group is involved at every level of the cyber value chain, offering solutions ranging from risk as-sessment to protection of critical infrastructure, supported by comprehensive threat de-tection and response capabilities. The Group has developed three families of key prod-ucts and services: The Cybels platform, a complete platform of cybersecurity services including risk assessment, training and simulation, and cyberattack detection and re-sponse; Sovereign products including encryptors and sensors to protect critical infor-mation systems and The CypherTrust range of products to meet data protection, cloud security and access control requirements.

For Thales and Maxive Cybersecurity, the planned acquisition is an important step forward in the highly dynamic market for cybersecurity consulting and managed services, which anticipates growth of approximately 10% between 2020 and 2025.

Maxive Cybersecurity’s portfolio of businesses is a perfect fit for Thales. The company brings to the table extensive industrial expertise and a solid, diversified customer base of industries and critical infrastructure providers, including the financial services sector, government, and public services, which accounted for more than 50% of Maxive Cybersecurity sales in 2021.

The company has 549 employees, almost all of whom are focused on the delivery of cyber security, distributed in nine sites in Spain and Portugal that employ a total of 405 people, with an additional 144 working at its two sites in Luxembourg and Belgium. Thales employs 10 000 software developers and 5 000 critical IT and cybersecurity engi-neers, in 60 countries.

The operation is expected to close in the second half of 2022 and is subject to the customary regulatory approvals. Stifel Europe Bank AG (“Stifel”) acted as sole and exclusive financial advisor to Maxive Cybersecurity.

“As the majority shareholder of the company, we’ve helped Maxive Cybersecurity more than triple its yearly revenues, building on its history of innovation and specialization and helping it become one of Europe’s leading MSSP companies. The acquisition by Thales is the recognition of this exceptional work done by the entire team and the logical next step in Maxive’s journey. We are confident it will be a great opportunity to further grow Maxive’s business and people.”, says Carlos Alberto Silva, Managing Partner at Sonae Investment Management.

“The acquisition of Maxive Cybersecurity consolidates our leadership in cybersecurity in today’s constantly expanding cyber threat landscape. We are delighted to welcome the Maxive Cybersecurity and the associated S21sec and Excellium teams on board to further strengthen our global cybersecurity capabilities. Together we will be able to provide solutions that deliver ever higher performance to our customers.”, says Philippe Keryer, Executive Vice President, Strategy, Research and Technology.

“The acquisition of Maxive Cybersecurity by Thales is the perfect culmination of our journey as a company, adding very relevant value to Thales’ cybersecurity capabilities, whilst at the same time offering our customers long term continuity and enhanced service capabilities across our combined full portfolio. We’d like to thank Sonae IM for their support over the last 8 years and look forward to the next stage of our journey with Thales.”, adds Simon Church, CEO, Maxive Cybersecurity.

About Sonae Investment Management

Sonae IM is the technology investment arm of the multinational Sonae Group. With 50 direct investments and growing, it encompasses stakes in companies on a global scale, from early to growth stages, and in strategic business areas such as cybersecurity, digital infrastructure and retail technology. For more information, visit

About Thales

Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global leader in advanced technologies, investing in digital and “deep tech” innovations – connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum technologies – to build a confident future crucial for the development of our societies. The Group provides its customers – businesses, organizations and governments – in the defence, aeronautics, space, transport, and digital identity and security domains with solutions, services and products that help them fulfil their critical role, consideration for the individual being the driving force behind all decisions. Thales has 81,000 employees in 68 countries. In 2021, the Group generated sales of €16.2 billion.

About Maxive Cybersecurity

Maxive Cybersecurity is a cyber security pure-player with over 550 specialists providing services for more than 600 customers in Iberia, Benelux and North Africa. Maxive leverages a rich heritage of innovation, via the market leading cyber security brands S21sec in Iberia and Excellium in the Benelux, which combined drives the development of solutions to the world’s toughest cyber security challenges. We are an industry-leading managed security service provider with a highly differentiated threat intelligence capability. We can cover organization’s needs across all of the NIST Framework, from defining their cyber security strategy to responding to the most complex incidents, partnering with our clients throughout their cyber security journey.