Private equity firm Thoma Bravo has agreed to buy UK cybersecurity vendor Sophos for £3.113 billion in cash. The endpoint security specialist’s board unanimously recommended the proposed acquisition to its shareholders today.
The GBP equivalent to the $7.40/share offer is £5.83 at current exchange rates: a 37.1 percent premium on Friday’s close. Oxfordshire-based Sophos (when the deal closes) will be owned by newly formed Thoma Bravo subsidiary Surf Buyer Ltd.)
The move comes as Thoma Bravo has been widely linked with a potential buyout of Intel-owned McAfee, in which it is a minority shareholder. The private equity firm has a substantial software portfolio that Digicert, Entrust, LogRhythm and SonicWall.
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LSE-listed Sophos has over 400,000 customers in more than 150 countries, over 47,000 channel partners and more than 100 million users. Thoma Bravo cited its “innovative, simple and highly effective solutions, extensive partner network, and strong retention and renewal rates” as among the attractions of the deal.
Seth Boro, a Managing Partner at Thoma Bravo said: “We are excited by the opportunity to partner with the Sophos management team and employees as we further develop Sophos as a best-in-class software franchise and nextgen security leader.
“The Acquisition fits with our strategy of investing in and growing software and technology businesses globally… Sophos has a market-leading product portfolio and we believe that, by applying Thoma Bravo’s expertise, operational framework and experience, we can support the business and accelerate its evolution and growth.”
Peter Gyenes, chairman of Sophos said: “This is a compelling offer for Sophos shareholders which secures the delivery of future value for shareholders today.
“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. The Sophos Board believes that this recommended offer delivers a significant opportunity for all stakeholders – our shareholders, customers, partners, and employees.”
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In a note to investors today, Thoma Bravo said: “Sophos is a global leader in next-generation cybersecurity solutions spanning endpoint, next-generation firewall, cloud security, server security, managed threat response, and more.
“Sophos solutions are designed to be highly innovative and effective, and at the same time simple and intuitive for organizations of all sizes. Sophos Central, a cloud-native management platform, integrates Sophos’ entire portfolio of next-generation products into a single “synchronized security” system accessible through APIs available to reseller and MSP partners, customers, and other vendors.
“Sophos is differentiated in the innovation and effectiveness of its next-generation security offerings; the ability to manage all those products in a single cloud-based management platform; the deep interoperability, coordination, and automation of its products; and the global reach of its “channel first” distribution strategy.