London-based private equity firm Novalpina Capital, which owns NSO, the Israeli spyware company at the heart of the Pegasus scandal, is being liquidated.
The buyout firm behind the Pegasus surveillance technology which last week triggered a global outcry over its use is to be dissolved after its partners failed to resolve a bitter months-long dispute, reports the Sky News.
Novalpina Capital bought the NSO Group in 2019. The company is to be wound up following a months-long dispute between its three principals and controversy over its ownership of the NSO Group. Its liquidation leaves the future ownership of NSO unclear, just as the company is grappling with the fallout of a vast electronic espionage scandal.
Novalpina also owns the Estonian casino group Olympic Entertainment and French pharmaceutical company XO.
According to the Financial Times, Novalpina's investors "have until August 6 to decide whether to liquidate the fund with a fire sale of its assets, or appoint a third party to take control of it".
French business daily Les Echos reported that Novalpina was being liquidated to put an end to an "internal war" between its founders. But "the espionage scandal may have been the straw that broke the camel's back", it added.
The NSO Group has been at the centre of a storm this month after an international media investigation claimed its Pegasus software was used to spy on the phones of human rights activists, journalists and even heads of state.
NSO has denied any wrongdoing, labelling the allegations "false".
It insists its software is intended for use only in fighting terrorism and other crimes.