Thursday, May 05, 2011

Surprisingly Little Information on Lavasoft Acquisition

It certainly appears as though the acquisition of Lavasoft AB by Lulu Software is being buried under a rug.  Although I first learned about the acquisition over a month ago, it actually occurred in January.

According to the announcement by Mannheimer Swartling, Solaria Fund acquires software business from Lavasoft:
"Solaria Fund acquires software business from Lavasoft (2011-01-18)

Solaria Fund has acquired the anti-spyware and antivirus software business from Lavasoft.

Lavasoft AB, a privately-held company headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, is one of the leading actors in the anti-spyware and antivirus segment.

Solaria Fund was advised by Mannheimer Swartling in the acquisition. The firm’s team was led by Johan Ljungberg, primarily assisted by Emma Olnäs Fors and Teresia Mårdh."
Adding to the confusion is the notice buried at the end of the BusinessWeek description of Lavasoft is the additional information:

"As of January 18, 2011, Lavasoft AB operates as a subsidiary of Lulu Software."
Similarly, the BusinessWeek entry for Lulu Software merely indicates "Merger/Acquisition, Lavasoft AB, January 18, 2011".

From what I can ascertain, Lulu Software and Solaria Fund are, if not one and the same, are closely held, with ties to

  • Eric Gareau, CEO at Lulu Software (located in Montreal, Canada)
  • Michael Dadoun, Principal at Solaria Fund (located in Montreal, Canada) and Co-Founder at (also Montreal, Canada)
  • Calin Udrea, Marketing Director at Lavasoft, formerly Director of Marketing at UpClick
What is most interesting in this change is that there has not been a Lavasoft Press Release.  In fact, it has been rather quiet in Lava-Land with only one press report to date in 2011 and only a half-dozen blog posts to date in 2011. 

Could the silence be related to the less than stellar Web of Trust ratings of Lulu Software's Fixio PC Cleaner Software?

Since it has been well over six years since I used Ad-Aware, perhaps others have also switched to a different anti-malware software program.  Even the Support Forum is woefully quiet, with the current online list showing 0 members logged on to the Forums. 

Baseless speculation aside, the question remains:  Why all the silence about the acquisition?

Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...


Maik said...

Nice find. I can remember when Ad-Aware and Spybot S&D were the only two of their kind but I too haven't used Ad-Aware (or Spybot) for ages.

Anonymous said...

And oh look Lavasoft software used to be illegally distributed by Interactive Brands. Who was the former CEO of Interactive Brands? Eric Gareau...

The scammers have bought a security company!!!

Corrine said...

News about the Lavasoft acquisition has remained quiet since I published this article. Three months to the day later, SC Magazine published Lavasoft's new owners operated misleading websites.

Anonymous said...

FYI: After the "secret" acquisition (which, by the way, everyone was told that nothing will change), they fired a whole bunch of people in two strokes, the second being in May 2011.

Two weeks ago (Week 32), the remaining 15 or so employees were told that the Swedish offices will close (the date is not yet as yet).

Lulu have a satellite office in Ukraine where the programming will be done; I guess their "marketing" (for want of a better word) will be driven from Canada.

The end of an era.

Maik said...

Corrine said...

Thank you Maik.

Hugo_vH said...

Hi Corrine,
I hope you read this, months after the original post. I started using LavaSoft anti-virus a few months ago, anaware of this morbid connection - quite the contrary: LavaSoft had a very good reputation eg spyware a decade ago... Ok, so they're not as OK as they seem. BUT I also found ou that their current antivirus app is based on the AVIRA- antivirus engine. I'm not looking for ghosts or conspiracies - but what I am supposed to think of the Lulu - Avari connection? Avari is a very big player on the (free) AV-scene after all...

( I can be contacted via hugovanhamersveld! at!! without the exclamation marks. )

Corrine said...

Hi, Hugo.

Yes, many years ago, Lavasoft had a good reputation. However, that was during a time prior to the sophisticated malware we see today.

My question to you -- in the event the LS antivirus definitions are based on Avira, why not go to the source and use the Avir AntiVir program?

Hugo_vH said...

I've used Avira for a long time, but it nerves me that you can't get rid of the never ending detection false positives (in the free version).
What I was wondering: why would Avira license (or whatever they do) their software to LavaSoft aka Lulu - or is this just a side effect of Lulu buying Lava?

Corrine said...

Hi, Hugo.

Money talks! Lavasoft originally contracted with Avira in 2008, rebranded the Avira A/V as "Lavasoft Anti-Virus Helix" and charged $23.95 for a license.

Do not doubt that Avira received a percentage of the license fee.

Hugo_vH said...

Apperently this was before the Lulu takeover. I dug a litle deeper in the software I use and noticed 'lava-lulu-AV' also uses GFI-modules - I've been using the GFI backup program for quite some time as well. Look like all these small players tend to get themselves mixed up with baddies like the lulu guys. The distinction between good (antivirus) and bad (virus) is blurred indeed.