Entrust to Boost Asian Presence By Acquisition

Entrust Technologies Inc., a public key infrastructure (PKI) and digital certificate solutions provider, is looking to acquire companies in this region next year with its US$15 million Southeast Asia war chest. A significant portion of this investment will be made in Singapore. Rick Spurr, executive vice president, Global Sales and Services, Entrust, said this last week when he announced that the company will be opening its Singapore office in January.

The local office will focus on sales, marketing, support and development.

"We will invest in local companies or acquire companies to accelerate our growth in this region," said Spurr. Companies that the security provider will be looking at are those with a proven track record in technological areas that Entrust can leverage.

For example, Entrust is hoping to acquire or invest in local expertise to come up with Indian and Chinese language versions of its products, which are already double-byte enabled to support such developments. Another area it will focus on is wireless security, said Hector Saldana, senior vice president, Asia Pacific, Entrust Technologies.

"Wireless applications will be one of the fastest engines of growth in the future," he said. In Singapore, Entrust sees a "unique environment" for developing authentication technologies, with government mandate on the electronic road pricing leading to a widespread use of smart cards.

"Singapore represents exciting growth opportunities for Entrust Technologies, and we are happy to meet the challenge," said Spurr.

Entrust last week also signed agreements with Netrust and Frontline Solutions to boost its presence in this part of the world. Frontline was appointed distributor of Entrust's getAccess authorization solution while Netrust is a distributor for its PKI solutions in this region. Spurr estimated that Asia will contribute to 7 percent of Entrust's worldwide revenue this year, a figure that he projects will grow to 12 percent by end 2001. Entrust was spun off from Nortel Networks' Secure Networks Group in 1997.

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