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Exclusive Networks starts process of going public

Distributor starts the journey of an IPO that will raise capital and take the cyber security specialist into a fresh chapter

Exclusive Networks has revealed its intention to go public and take the distributor to the next level of its development, as it continues to grow the global business.

The channel player, which started life in France and has its HQ in the country, has chosen to list on the Euronext Paris after filing its documents with French Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), courting investment in a business that has charted a course in delivering emerging security and cloud technologies.

The aim is to use the IPO to generate a capital raise of up to approximately €260m of primary proceeds that will help the business continue on its growth journey.

The firm has been able to share a strong story with potential investors, pointing out that over the past 18 years it has grown significantly and had a 36% gross sales CAGR since 2013. It is also operating in a cyber security market that is estimated to be worth €58bn in 2020 and growing at a 9% CAGR from 2020 to 2026. 

Jesper Trolle, CEO of Exclusive Networks, has been in the role for just over a year, but has already got used to the idea that the business is in a constant state of evolution. During that period, the business has expanded geographically, launched its XOD cloud platform and, earlier this summer, made sure it was in a position to support security startups with the acquisition of Ignition Technology.

He stressed that for its suppliers and channel partners the float would not have an impact on the day-to-day operations: “For us this is business as usual. This is something that happens behind the scenes.

“We need to continue to deliver value add and create value for all partners, making sure we have the services and the capabilities that they need to conduct their business and this focus will never go away,” he said.

Value of distribution

The value of distribution is much more clearly understood at this point in time with organisations like the Global Technology Distribution Council doing their bit to promote the sector. Trolle still expects to do some education of potential investors that are looking for a handle on the opportunity.

“Companies are consuming all these different types of security solutions but they’re not necessarily clear on how the product solution actually gets to the customer? Across the spectrum, whether that’s the partner or the distributors or whatever,” he said. “There has been a little bit of education and the role that we are doing.

“Our suppliers, our partners and customers have an appreciation for the value we deliver and can deliver. I think it’s incumbent upon us to make sure that we don’t stand still, we’ve got to continue to evolve,” said Trolle. “We will continue to innovate around our services portfolio to meet the needs of our partners and to address the way that technology is being consumed through our on-demand subscription platform, X-OD.”

Once the IPO goes through, Exclusive will join the growing ranks of listed channel players, and for Trolle it will add another dimension to the CEO role as he takes up the mantle of dealing with analysts and talking through quarterly financials.

“It’s a new situation for me and it’s a new situation for the management team,” he said. “It’s a new situation for the company in general. It is exciting. It’s not done yet – this is just the first step – but it’s an exciting first step.”

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