Apax holds a beauty parade for Sophos IPO

Ollie Gordon
LONDON-based private equity firm Apax has stepped up plans for the mooted £1bn stock market flotation of cyber security business Sophos later this year, it emerged yesterday.

Apax is closing in on appointing a team of investment banks to work on the London listing for the Oxford-based tech firm, planned to go ahead after the general election.

The buyout specialist appointed investment boutique Moelis to begin preparing for the float earlier this year and has recently held a beauty parade to encourage other banks to come on board as advisers. Investment banking giants Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Morgan Stanley and Barclays have been linked with lead bookrunner roles.

Apax acquired its 70 per cent stake in Sophos in 2010 for £372m. The tech firm’s founders, Jan Hruska and Peter Lammer, who established the business in 1985, attempted to list in 2007 and 2009. However, both attempts were thwarted as the economic downturn curtailed investor appetite. Lammer and Hruska still hold minority stakes along with seats on the company’s board.

Apax declined to comment.

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