UKFast Acquires Secure Information Assurance

Lawrence Jones

UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones MBE has acquired another cloud and cybersecurity service provider, Secure Information Assurance (S-IA), following the announcement of a £2.3 million investment to bolster his firm’s government data centre space.

S-IA provides secure cloud hosting and cybersecurity services to the UK Ministry of Defence, the Cabinet Office and a raft of other UK government organisations.

The deal gives UKFast access to IL3 and IL4/Official-Sensitive accreditations as well as the UK’s highest security rated hosting, known as List-X. The move is a further step towards the high-level security services market, just six months after the acquisition of cybersecurity specialists Pentest Limited by Jones’ security business Secarma in July 2016.

Jones said: “This deal has been exactly a year in the making. Acquiring S-IA is a strategic move, not only because of its high-profile government clients, but also because of its security product set. They are already delivering accredited services from List-X facilities to a number of clients.

“It’s a business that’s very much on the rise and the deal was an extremely competitive process, but the S-IA management team sees the clear advantage of partnering with UKFast, seeing the instant scalability of our eCloud platform as the perfect offering for the government.

“We’re bolting on a new level of expertise and technical capability to UKFast’s existing product range, and combined with our exclusively UK-based data centres and best of British service, it’s an offering that other large providers dealing with the public sector simply can’t match.”

S-IA CEO Martin Knapp is set to head up Jones’ G-Cloud team as part of the move, targeting a share of the £1.69bn currently spent through the government procurement framework.

Knapp said: “This is a hugely exciting move for all of us at S-IA. The conversation started when we went to UKFast to look at their data centre facilities. We initially planned to host our cloud with UKFast, but we were so impressed that we started a conversation about becoming partners and that quickly became a conversation about Lawrence buying the business.

“There are so many technical synergies between us and UKFast; at the hardware level, the software level and at the service level too. Their technical capabilities and infrastructure are like none I’ve seen elsewhere.
“Wholly owned, UK-based data centres are such an important factor for the sector we’re dealing with.”

Financial due diligence was carried out by Nicola Merritt at Dow Schofield Watts and Legal due diligence by Nabarro.