On the 7th of June, 2018, an agreement has been signed that will lead to the merger of two of the historical companies in the cybersecurity sector in Spain, S21sec and Nextel. The resulting company, which is part of the investment portfolio of Sonae Investment Management (Sonae IM), will be consolidated as the most important “pure player” (company specializing exclusively in the cybersecurity sector) in Spain and Portugal in terms of turnover and number of cybersecurity experts on staff. With operations in Spain, Mexico and Portugal, the new company S21sec / Nextel, whose new brand strategy should be announced in the coming months, will have more than 400 professionals specialized in cybersecurity and will have amongst its customer base the majority of listed companies and large companies in their countries of action.
This operation is part of the investment plan promoted by Sonae IM to build a European cybersecurity leader. As commented by Carlos Alberto Silva, board member of Sonae IM, “with the merger of S21sec and Nextel we consolidated the project started in 2014 with the entry into the capital of S21sec and we take an important step in our plan to position ourselves as the reference company in Spain and Portugal, also entering the top 5 at the European level. In parallel, at Sonae IM we continue analyzing other companies in Europe and Latin America that allow us to continue developing this growth plan.”
From the point of view of S21sec, Agustín Muñoz-Grandes, CEO of S21sec, explains that this operation “reinforces the excellent results achieved by S21sec in 2017, with a growth in turnover of over 25%, and allows us to leverage our experience and leading offer of cybersecurity managed services making them available to the customer base resulting from the merger with Nextel. Also, Nextel adds to the new company close to 30 years of unbeatable references as a leader in integration services of security solutions, audit, pentesting and security consulting.” Agustín also highlights that a very important era is now starting for S21sec / Nextel, combining elements of DNA and business cultures that made them leaders in their fields of action: passion for cybersecurity and innovation, commitment to the development of proprietary technology as a base to enhance capacities in those areas in which the most advanced commercial products do not cover all the needs, and a management culture that bets on people as the nonnegotiable and essential basis to be able to offer the highest quality services to clients.
José Ramón Bazo López, CEO of Nextel, points out that “the merger with S21sec, and becoming part of the project led by Sonae IM, creates the largest cybersecurity company in Spain and Portugal with a broad portfolio of products / services that cover all areas of knowledge. This merger will reinforce technical teams, technical capacity and delivery. In addition, this merger will create even greater opportunities to all employees as key elements of our company. It is especially relevant that the resulting company can leverage the experience of both companies around the SOC-CERT established by S21sec in 2005 and that accumulates experience difficult to match by any other SOC in Iberia. Both companies complement each other perfectly and, in addition, the commitment to innovation is internally impregnated in both.”
In addition to the announcement of the merge, Agustín Muñoz-Grandes announced that by the end of 2018 they will move to a new headquarters in Madrid in what will be the corporate building of the Sonae Group in Spain. The new company, S21sec / Nextel, will occupy two complete plants in the building located in Ramírez de Arellano 21 and will inaugurate a new Security Operations Center (SOC-CERT) that will have more than 400m2 of surface and a staff of more than 50 people working 24×7 to offer the highest level of security to the company’s clients. The current SOC of S21sec / Nextel has been renewed in the last two years with the goal of achieving the shortest possible time of detection, containment and remediation of cybersecurity incidents. S21sec / Nextel SOC makes extensive use of threat intelligence and analysis & detection tools, supported by proprietary technology and reinforced with advanced solutions from strategic business partners such as FireEye, IBM, Recorded Future or BitSight. In addition, S21sec has incorporated artificial intelligence and machine learning into its managed services architecture as a basis to continuously improving the detection and response capabilities of all SOC services. With SOC operations in Portugal and Mexico, the service architecture of S21sec / Nextel allows achieving same level of service to all clients in the countries where it operates, and also to reinforce the continuity of service with presence of personnel in different time zones.