Founder of cybersecurity firm DarkMatter in talks over stake sale

Faisal Al Binnai expects negotiations with private equity buyers to conclude by the end of the year

Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., September 19, 2018.  
Darkmatter CEO Karim Sabbagh.
Victor Besa / The National
Section:  BZ
Reporter:  Deena Kamel
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

The founder of Abu Dhabi cybersecurity firm DarkMatter, Faisal Al Binnai, is concluding a deal to sell his ownership of the five-year-old company to a number of private equity firms.

In an announcement on the company's website, the business leader said he is "in the process of concluding purchase agreements with multiple parties" to sell his stake in DarkMatter group, with a deal expected to conclude by the year end. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.

“In less than five years we have been able to build essential and trusted digital enablement, cyber resilience, and secure communications capabilities enriching the lives of many, both here in the United Arab Emirates and beyond. We can be proud of these foundations and confident that the new owners will continue to build upon these achievements in the future,” said Mr Al Binnai.

DarkMatter was founded by Mr Al Binnai, who had previously founded mobile phone retail business Axios Telecom, in 2014. The company now operates four lines covering cybersecurity and secure communications, digital transformation, digital education and a government solutions arm that helps public sector bodies with cybersecurity and defence.

Earlier this year, the company launched a 'hack-proof', ultra-secure mobile phone developed for use for military and other field workers.

The company has also grown rapidly. In an interview with The National last year, the company's chief executive, Karim Sabbagh, said the company was looking to open in Saudi Arabia and was eyeing the Egyptian market as employee numbers were set to reach 750.