Security Provider Sophos Goes Public on London ExchangeSecurity Provider Sophos Goes Public on London Exchange
Sophos said it hopes to raise $125 million by selling about 35 percent of its shares priced at 225 pence per share in a public offering on the London Stock Exchange that would set its valuation at about $1.6 billion.
June 28, 2015
There’s a new tech unicorn on the public market and this one’s in the U.K. Security specialist Sophos said it hopes to raise $125 million by selling about 35 percent of its shares priced at 225 pence per share in a public offering on the London Stock Exchange that would set its valuation at about $1.6 billion.
The Oxford, UK-based antivirus and cybersecurity provider, which works with some 15,000 channel partners worldwide, is trading now as Sophos Group plc under the ticker “SOPH.”
“Today marks a significant milestone for all of us at Sophos,” said Kris Hagerman, Sophos chief executive.
“We are proud to be part of Britain’s growing tech economy as a listed business and a leading global provider in the cyber security sector,” he said. “Working with our 15,000 channel partners worldwide, we look forward to the next stage of our development as a public company – and to continuing to deliver ‘complete IT security made simple’ for enterprises of any size.“
Earlier this month, Sophos disclosed its IPO intentions but didn’t set a market capitalization to determine share price and shares outstanding. Sophos, which took stabs at IPOs in 2007 and 2009 only to withdraw, said this public offering will provide existing shareholders, including private-equity investor Apax Partners, and insiders to sell their shares.
Apax purchased a majority stake in Sophos in 2010 for some $830 million. After the IPO, Apax will own 40 percent of shares, founders Jan Hruska and Peter Lammer will hold about 19 percent, Investcorp 2.5 percent and insiders will own about 1.7 percent of shares.
Unlike its earlier IPO forays, Sophos’ public offering this time around appears well-timed, arriving as the cybersecurity segment turns from red to white hot. While Sophos competes with the likes of kingpins Symantec (SYMC) and McAfee, its focus on providing security to SMBs gives it a competitive edge against the larger providers.
Sophos said it will allocate the IPO proceeds to reduce its $318 million debt and for initiatives to drive new growth. The company posted sales of $447 million for the year ended March 31, an 18 percent increase over the prior year.
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