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Novalpina Capital comments on letter regarding its buyout of NSO Group, sued for enabling surveillance of activists
Author: Alex Plough, Yifan Yu & Mariana Valle, Debtwire (UK), Published on: 26 February 2019
"Israeli Spyware Firm NSO Group Confronts Controversial Past As It Seeks $500 Million Buyout Loan", 25 Feb 2019
...Israeli software company NSO Group [is] facing multiple lawsuits alleging that their products have been used to spy on innocent civilians...The spyware company, whose products include an app that allows users to remotely access targets’ cellphones, is confronting these issues as it seeks backers for a $500 million loan to finance a buyout... After the buyout was announced..human rights organization Amnesty International published an open letter to Novalpina Capital, NSO and Francsico Partners calling for Novalpina to publicly address these concerns. Contacted...for comment, Novalpina said it had thoroughly vetted NSO, was committed to transparency and human rights, and would work with activists and civil rights groups to build upon the company’s existing ethics and governance framework. Public perception...weighed on deal discussions in the past. In 2017, news that the company was in sale talks with Blackstone prompted protests in Mexico...The talks ultimately fell apart...NSO is being sued by the Saudi dissident,...a Qatari citizen and Mexican activists...Contacted...for comment,... NSO said: “We do not tolerate misuse of our products. If there is suspicion of misuse, we investigate it and take the appropriate actions, including suspending or terminating a contract.” [Refers to Verint Systems & Westbridge Technologies].