Carlyle Group Sells SmartTrust

The Carlyle Group has sold SmartTrust, a Swedish provider of mobile device management and SIM management software, to Giesecke & Devrient. No financial terms were disclosed. Carlyle acquired a majority stake in SmartTrust in October 2002, via its Carlyle Europe Venture Partners fund. Syndicate partners included General Electric and Eqvitec Technology Fund.


Global private equity firm The Carlyle Group today announces that it has fully exited its investment in SmartTrust, a developer of Mobile Device Management (MDM) and SIM management software for mobile operators, through a sale to the international technology group, Giesecke & Devrient (G&D). G&D is a supplier of smart cards and cutting-edge system solutions in the fields of telecommunications, electronic payments, transportation, health care, identity, customer loyalty, pay-TV, multimedia and Internet security.


During Carlyle’s ownership, SmartTrust has become the foremost developer of infrastructure software for managing and securing mobile services. SmartTrust technology is now relied upon by top mobile network operators around the world including Vodafone, Telenor, T-Mobile, AT&T, Brasil Telecom, Claro, Bharti, Mobilkom, Etisalat, and Orascom. The company is headquartered in Sweden with a regional presence in Europe, Asia and the Americas.


Jeff Bork, Chairman and CEO of SmartTrust, commented on the transaction, “Carlyle has supported SmartTrust through a key phase of its development, particularly through international expansion. Their deep understanding of our business, both from a communications and a technology perspective, has been invaluable to the company and fundamental to the success we have enjoyed. We are excited about joining the Giesecke & Devrient group which will offer us the opportunity to expand our international presence and product offering.”


Michael Wand, Managing Director and Co-Head of Carlyle’s European Technology Team (CETP), said, “SmartTrust is an outstanding example of a European company that has created a dedicated global customer base through innovation and excellence in execution. We led the spin-out from TeliaSonera in October 2002 with a long-term view and are extremely proud to have supported the company through a successful turnaround, bringing it to a market leading position. CETP’s achievement with SmartTrust is a great endorsement of our strategy and testament to our ability to enhance businesses and maximize long-term value creation. We believe G&D is an excellent partner for the business and their acquisition of the company in these challenging economic times demonstrates that there is still appetite for strategic assets. We wish G&D every success in taking the business forward.”


In October 2002, Carlyle headed a syndicate including GE and Eqvitec Technology Fund which purchased a majority shareholding of SmartTrust.


Carlyle’s investment in SmartTrust was made through Carlyle Europe Venture Partners. This fund was launched in January 2000 with €553 million and invested in venture capital in emerging technology companies in Europe.


The legal advisor to Carlyle was Vinge in Stockholm.


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About Giesecke & Devrient

Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) is a technology leader in the field of smart cards, providing Smart-card-based solutions for telecommunications, electronic payment, healthcare, ID, transportation, and IT security (PKI). G&D is also a leading producer of banknotes and security documents and is dominant in the field of currency automation. Based in Munich, Germany, the G&D Group maintains subsidiaries and joint ventures around the world. In fiscal 2007, the Group employed over 9,000 people and generated revenues of € 1.55 billion. For more information, visit our website at