NSO Group in trouble: ready to close Pegasus and sell to two American funds

spyware Pegasus could soon be forgotten: the security company NSO Group who developed it is actually trying to outline an “exit strategy” that will get him out of the quagmire he’s slipped into by shutting down the spyware unit and shutting down its operations.

NSO Group is an Israeli organization that suffered serious consequences after discovering that the Pegasus spyware was misused by oppressive governments to spy on journalists, human rights activists and other persons of interest. . Pegasus spyware relied on exploiting vulnerabilities in iOS to install on iPhones, originally intended for use against criminals by governments and law enforcement. But the discovery of abuses by authoritarian governments and oppressive regimes opened up a scandal.

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NSO reports an 8% drop in revenue from 2018, and 2021 sales are expected to be around $230 million. Closure of Pegasus operations expected to halve NSO Group revenue, putting the company in additional difficulty, in particular in the face of the need to repay a loan of approximately 450 million dollars. NSO bonds issued in 2019 were trading in November at 70 cents to the dollar and yesterday they were trading at 50 cents, a sign of low market confidence in NSO’s ability to service its debt.

The company would now have entered into negotiations with investment funds, whose identity is currently unknown, for a complete refinancing or sale operation. From what he says Bloombergit would still be two American funds which following the operation could take control of the division which deals with Pegasusterminate its operations. It would be on the table an offer of around 200 millionwith the aim of reorienting NSO Group and transforming it into a purely defensive reality, with greater valuation of intellectual property centered on drone technologies.

NSO Group’s desire to get out of an embarrassing and damaging situation for its business follows its inclusion on the United States Department of Commerce’s “entity list”, a list that limits the way in which American companies can sell or supply technologies to the realities present there, although the NSO itself claims that its technologies “support the national security interests and policies of the United States”. Collaterally, Apple sued NSO Group with the aim of preventing the use of its products and services.