Sophos sells majority stake to equity group

Sophos has reached a definitive agreement to sell a majority interest in the company to equity group Apax Partners, in a transaction valuing the company at $830 million (USD).

When the transaction is completed, the founders of Sophos will retain a significant minority shareholding. TA Associates, a minority shareholder in Sophos since 2002, will sell its full interest to Apax in this transaction.

Sophos has over 100 million users in more than 150 countries, with customers including Cisco, Marks and Spencer, Heinz and Harvard University. In its fiscal year ended March 31, 2010 (unaudited), Sophos had billings in excess of $330 million (compared with $273 million in FY 2009), revenue in excess of $260 million (FY2009: $213 million) and generated unlevered free cash flow of approximately $55 million (FY2009: $40 million).

“Over the past three years, Sophos has prospered operationally and financially, growing our revenues at a 27% cumulative annual growth rate and generating strong cash flow,” said Steve Munford, CEO of Sophos.

“As the market continues its migration from point solution to tailored, unified security suites, Sophos’s strategy to offer the world’s most resilient, cost effective solutions without any additional complexity remains key. Apax’s financial backing, combined with Sophos’s deep understanding of security and data protection is great news for our customers, prospects, partners. It is also a testament to the efforts of all those who helped bring Sophos to where it is today.”

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