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PC Matic interviewing bankers for sale process

PC Matic, a closely held preventative cybersecurity software firm, is interviewing investment banks for a sale process, said CEO Rob Cheng.

The Sioux City, Iowa-based company may choose an advisor in the next couple of weeks, according to Cheng, who said he would like to complete a transaction this year.

PC Matic was founded in 1999 by Cheng, who owns 90% of the business, with the rest held by employees. The company generated revenue of approximately USD 17m and EBITDA of USD 4m in 2023, Cheng said.

Investment banks have recently valued PC Matic between USD 100m and USD 200m, the CEO added.

An ideal scenario would be a majority sale to a private equity firm, leading to a full sale within two to three years, along with an exit for Cheng, according to the CEO. Cheng also would consider a full sale to a financial or strategic buyer, with the 64-year-old executive noting Orlando, Florida-based ThreatLocker as an example of a “good acquirer.”

This news service previously reported that PC Matic explored a sale with Corum Group between 2022 and 2023 that did not end in a transaction, with the company marketed to a limited number of buyers. PC Matic is now seeking a banker with a wide network of potential acquirers, Cheng noted for this report. The company is also in need of a CFO, he added.

PC Matic has eight patents for its proprietary whitelist technology, which denies access to all unknown files until authenticity can be verified, unlike traditional blacklist technology, which only blocks files that are known to be threats, Cheng explained.

According to Cheng, the only other major player with whitelist technology is ThreatLocker, which has raised close to USD 200m from investors including General Atlantic.

Most anti-virus software competitors use blacklist technology, Cheng noted, including CrowdStrike [NASDAQ:CRWD]; Cylance, a division of Blackberry [NYSE:BB]; Carbon Black, a division of VMware [NYSE:VWM]; SentinelOne [NYSE:S];  and Advent International-backed McAfee.

In terms of recent notable deals, Cheng pointed to Finland-based F-Secure’s USD 223m acquisition of San Francisco-based Lookout’s consumer mobile security business in April 2023.

In addition to its whitelist technology, PC Matic has a consumer virtual private network product that encrypts activity on the internet and keeps identity hidden while browsing.

The company has focused on the direct-to-consumer space but is now expanding into the government space after recently pulling back from the business-to-business market, Cheng mentioned. The company has “several big government contracts” in its pipeline that are expected to grow top-line revenue, which has remained relatively flat the past few years, he said.

PC Matic operates primarily in the US, though it does some business in Brazil, according to Cheng. The company has 55 employees.