NSO Group, the Israeli firm behind the notorious Pegasus spyware, is exploring shutting down its Pegasus unit and selling the entire company, a report in Bloomberg has hinted. The report cites people familiar with the matter as saying that talks are being held with several investment funds about moves that include a refinancing or outright sale. According to the report, NSO Group has brought in advisers from Moelis & Co to assist, and lenders are getting advice from lawyers at Willkie Farr and Gallagher, the people familiar with the matter said.
The Bloomberg sources refused to be identified as discussions are private at this point. One of the sources told the publication that prospective owners include two American funds that have discussed taking control and closing down Pegasus. NSO refused to comment on the Bloomberg report, along with representatives of Moelis and Willkie Farr. A potential transfer was earlier reported by Debtwire.
The Pegasus software from NSO Group has been in the news since the last couple of years. The spyware can track a user’s mobile phone usage. There have been many reports of Pegasus being misused by high-profile clients, and there are accusations about the abuse of human rights that pertains to the usage of Pegasus. The product has, in the past, been used to spy on activists, journalists, politicians, and more.
Even iPhone maker Apple has sued NSO, in order to bar the spyware firm from using its products and services. NSO Group has, on multiple occasions said, that it only sells the technology to governments and law enforcement agencies to prevent crime and terrorism, and the company has ended contracts with clients that have abused its software.
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