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October 12, 2009

Sophos in 2010 Nasdaq listing: media reports

Company heading for $1 billion listing

By CBR Staff Writer

UK anti-virus and anti-spam software provider Sophos plc is heading for a listing on the US Nasdaq next year according to unconfirmed media reports at the weekend, in a flotation that could value the company at $1 billion.

The company remains tight-lipped about the reports, which first appeared in the UK Sunday Times, but the valuation is a reflection of the market’s view on its growth prospects and a business reach that secures 100 million end points in 150 countries.

Billings for the 12 months at the end of March 2009 touched £163 million, some 53% better than in the same period for the year-ago period. Operating profit was running at over £2 million. 

Those latest full-year numbers appear to have benefitted from the company’s M&A activity. Just over a year ago it bought out German data security firm Utimaco AG in a deal worth in excess of €210 million, for a business which had revenues of €60 million and 300 employees. 

Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. It has network operations centres in Oxford, Boston, Vancouver and Sydney that enable the company to provide 24 hour monitoring and quick response to security threats. The business employs approximately 1,400 staff worldwide.

The company is reportedly 60% owned by Oxford University scientists Jan Hruska and Peter Lammer, who founded the business in 1985, with venture capital group TA Associates owning a 20% stake, and Investcorp another 10%.

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