(Reuters) - British IT security firm NCC Group <NCCG.L> said it had agreed to buy rival Accumuli <ACM.L> to bolster its capabilities in round-the-clock operational support and incident management, and develop its consulting business.
NCC is paying about 55 million pounds ($82 million) for the equity of the AIM-listed group, representing a 19 percent premium on its closing price on Monday, funded by the issue of about 20.4 million new NCC shares and 10 million pounds in cash.
Accumuli is growing revenue quickly, expecting to post about 27 million pounds in the year to end-March up from 16.6 million pounds, but made a loss from continuing operations of 500,000 pounds in its first half.
IT security companies are seeing rising demand for their services as the methods used by hackers become more and more sophisticated.
"A growing number of customers today are looking for 24-7, 365 (days) operational security support and incident management services that Accumuli provides," NCC Chief Executive Rob Cotton said in an interview.
Shares in NCC were trading down 7.7 percent at 202 pence by 0555 DST. ACM stock was up 5.5 percent at 29.5p.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by David Holmes)