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Apax acquires majority interest in Sophos

04 May 2010

Sophos has reached an agreement to sell a majority interest in the company to Apax Partners.

The transaction is said to value the company at US$830 million. Once 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.

"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."

Salim Nathoo, a partner in the Tech & Telecom team at Apax Partners, added, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to back Sophos as well as its excellent CEO and management team. 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 strong track record and industry specific knowledge in the technology sector makes Sophos a perfect fit, and we look forward to working closely with this high-growth business going forward."

Alongside Apax Partners, current shareholders will retain significant stakes in the business, including Dr Jan Hruska and Dr Peter Lammer, who co-founded the company in 1985.