Private equity to gobble up Brit virus blocker Sophos for £3bn

Will join Barracuda Networks, Veracode Software in Thoma Bravo's tum

Brit security software slinger Sophos has accepted an all-cash offer from US suitor private equity group Thoma Bravo of just over £3bn.

The antivirus provider's shareholders will get $7.40 per share, a bonus of 37 per cent on Friday's prices.

Recommending the offer, Sophos chairman Peter Gyenes said: "It is the view of the Sophos Board that this is a compelling offer for Sophos shareholders... Thoma Bravo has deep sector expertise in cybersecurity software as well as a long and successful track record of partnering with and investing in its portfolio companies to support long-term growth and success. Under Thoma Bravo's ownership we expect Sophos to accelerate its evolution and leadership in next-generation cybersecurity."

Sophos also gave an update on its second-quarter sales due for release 6 November, saying it expects to report 9 per cent growth in billings in constant currency terms for the six months ended September with growth in end user and network security revenues, 12 per cent growth in subscriptions, and modest year-on-year improvement in renewal rates and new sign-ups.

The all-cash offer is actually being made via Surf Buyer Limited – a subsidiary of Thoma Bravo.

The deal bolsters Bravo's tech portfolio, which already includes a minority stake in McAfee, Barracuda Networks and cloud application testing business Veracode Software, which it bought for just shy of $1bn at the end of last year.

Sophos, founded in Oxfordshire in 1985, claims 100 million customers around the world, 370,000 businesses and over 47,000 channel partners. Although best known as an endpoint provider, it also offers network and cloud products and managed services.

The full statement is here. ®

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