Feeds

Apax buys control of Sophos for $830m

Trebles all round

High performance access to file storage

Updated Apax Partners has bought a majority stake in UK-based net security firm Sophos in a deal announced on Monday valuing the company at $830m.

Dr Jan Hruska and Dr Peter Lammer, who co-founded Sophos 25 years ago, will retain a significant minority shareholding, reportedly valued at $300m. TA Associates, a minority shareholder in Sophos since 2002, is selling all its shares to the Apax Partners private equity firm as part of the deal.

Sophos said its revenues for the year ending March 31 2010 were $260m in 2009 compared to $213m in FY2009 with a cash flow of $55m. The firm's blue chip clients include Cisco, Marks and Spencer, Heinz and Harvard University.

The transaction is being funded two-thirds by equity and one third by debt. "These debt levels are very modest given Sophos’ strong cash flow. Over the past three years, Sophos has prospered operationally and financially, growing our revenues at a 27 per cent cumulative annual growth rate and generating strong cash flow," a Sophos spokeswoman explained. "Sophos will continue to have a significant ability to make acquisitions based on the financial resources of the investment funds managed by Apax Partners."

Both Sophos and Apax said the deal was good for customers, prospects and partners. Apax backed Sophos' existing management team.

Salim Nathoo, a partner in the tech and telecom team at Apax, said: “We identified the security software space as an attractive investment area for us given its rapid growth driven by ever increasing malware threats and high barriers to entry.  Sophos is a very strong platform and is gaining market share."

Apax's previous telecoms investments include global satellite operators Inmarsat and Intelsat and interactive learning firm Promethean World. Sophos had reportedly been planning to launch an IPO in 2007 but shelved those plans due to the poor financial outlook at the time. Over recent years the firm has looked to international sales to maintain its growth, moving the hub of its marketing operation from Oxford to Boston in a bid to meet these objectives.

The firm sells exclusively to enterprises. Sophos’s flagship endpoint security and data protection product offers anti-virus, anti-spyware, client firewall, host intrusion prevention, network access control, application control, device control, disk encryption and data leak prevention functions. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.