Sophos, the IT security firm, revealed the pricing of its initial public offering, bringing the total valuation of the company to £1 billion and marking one of the largest flotations by a technology company in the U.K., TechCrunch reported late last week.
The Oxfordshire-based company, which produces antivirus software, firewall hardware and other security products, goes public at a time when cybersecurity remains a hot topic for both businesses and consumers.
The company is trading now on the London Stock Exchange as Sophos Group plc and using the “SOPH” ticker. According to TechCrunch, the company sold 34.8 percent of its shares at 225 pence each (or 156,521,740 shares), raising $125 million and solidifying its place as the latest U.K. tech “unicorn.”
“Today marks a significant milestone for all of us at Sophos,” Sophos CEO Kris Hagerman said in a statement. “We are proud to be part of Britain’s growing tech economy as a listed business and a leading global provider in the cybersecurity sector. Working with our 15,000 channel partners worldwide, we look forward to the next stage of our development as a public company and to continuing to deliver ‘complete IT security made simple’ for enterprises of any size.”
The company told TechCrunch the money is being raised on the public market “to reduce overall indebtedness and provide the company with greater financial flexibility to drive the future growth of the business.”
In a note from technology research firm Megabuyte, a copy of which was seen by The Guardian, the company said if Sophos wants to maintain its high valuation, it will have to focus on accelerating its top line growth.
“If investors want to play the undoubted attractions of the cybersecurity market without betting on one of the very high risk smaller players, Sophos is really the only game in town,” the note from Megabuyte said.
“On a broader point, the significance of this IPO for the London market should not be underestimated, especially given that over £5 billion of equity value has been, or is in the process of being, taken off the market in recent months. It is the largest software IPO in London for many, many years (in fact, we can’t remember the last time there was a £1 billion software IPO in London) and is particularly significant as Sophos could easily have chosen to list in the U.S.,” Megabuyte added.
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