Software firm Sophos eyes £1bn valuation in 2015 London float

 
Oliver Smith
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COMPUTER security company Sophos, owned by private equity giant Apax Partners, is reportedly planning a London listing next year that could achieve a valuation of £1bn for the business.

Sophos is close to appointing an independent adviser to run a stock market listing in the first half of 2015, according to The Sunday Times.

The Oxford-based business, which offers anti-spyware and antivirus software to businesses and consumers, was bought by Apax Partners in 2010 in a deal that saw Apax take a 70 per cent stake in Sophos for $580m (£372m).

While a London-listing is said to be the company’s prefered option, a New York float is also under consideration.

The move marks the third time Sophos has geared up for an initial public offering, the company previously tried to list in London in 2007 and 2009 prior to Apax taking control of the group.

Annual accounts for the UK unit of Sophos reported a slight dip in revenues for the last financial year. The UK subsidiary said turnover declined four per cent to £113.9m from £119.3m for the 12 months ending March 2013, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

Staff levels fell by 60 to 452, the results show, as part of a restructure to “improve the cost base of the engineering development team”.

Sophos could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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