The private equity owner of the spyware group NSO was deprived of control of the 1 billion euro fund

Novalpina Capital LLP update

After a dispute between its co-founders, the private equity firm that owns the military spyware maker NSO Group was deprived of control of its own funds.

Those involved in the process said that investors in Novalpina Capital’s 1 billion euro fund voted to seize control after three hours of intense video calls this month. The dramatic intervention left the ownership of the company behind the spyware Pegasus up in the air.

The fund owns the National Bureau of Statistics of Israel, the Estonian gaming company Olympic Entertainment Group and the French pharmaceutical company Laboratoire XO

Its investors, including public pension funds, must decide before August 6 whether to liquidate the fund by dumping its assets or appoint a third party to control it.

It is expected that third parties will return any unused funds to investors and sell these companies for a longer period of time, possibly at a higher price. If investors representing three-quarters of the value of the fund cannot reach an agreement, the fund will be liquidated.

Those involved in the process stated that due to the disagreements between its co-founders Stephen Peel, Bastian Lucan and Stefankowski, the vote to deprive Novalpina of control of the fund is the private equity firm The result of months of turbulence.

A person present said that at this month’s meeting, the three individuals each stated their own positions, after which the investors concluded that they could not continue to operate the fund together and should withdraw from their business.

The person familiar with the matter said that “the relationship between the company’s co-founders is obviously something wrong”, calling the meeting “special and painful”, but declined to give more details.

Peel declined to comment. Lueken, Kowski and NSO did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

NSO is the most controversial company under Novalpina and has been at the center of several espionage controversies in the past few years.

According to an investigation, its Pegasus spyware tool was recently linked to mobile phones belonging to dozens of journalists, human rights activists and politicians. Newspaper AllianceThe software requires permission from the Israeli government to export, because it is considered a weapon, it turns a mobile phone into a monitoring device and allows access to its encrypted content.

Former TPG partner Stephen Peel resigns from the board of directors of a human rights organization Global Witness After investing in NSO in early 2019.

His wife Yana Peel is Forced to step down As the CEO of the Serpentine Gallery in London, she described it as her “dream job” because of Novalpina’s connection with NSO.

Sky News first reported the investor rebellion.

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