IT security company SafeNet has abandoned its takeover bid for UK encryption technology vendor nCipher after the proposed acquisition was referred to Britain's Competition Commission.
SafeNet originally made a cash offer of 300 pence per share for nCipher in February. The deal valued the UK-based firm at around £86.1 million.
But in a statement, SafeNet says regulatory authorities referred the acquisition for further review because SafeNet and nCipher are two of the largest suppliers of hardware security modules in the UK.
The US firm says the review process involves considerable expense and lasts for several months so it has decided to abandon the transaction.
In a separate statement, nCipher says it accepts and agrees with SafeNet's decision.