Sophos Plans London Listing as European IPOs Increase in Value

Sophos Group Plc plans to raise about $100 million by selling shares in a London initial public offering, as the data security software maker tries to take advantage of increased investor appetite for technology companies.

Sophos, which pulled plans for an IPO back in 2007, said in a statement Wednesday that the fund-raising will help cut net debt that stood at $318.8 million at the end of April.

The free float will represent at least 25 percent of the company, and Sophos expects to offer an over-allotment of shares worth as much as 15 percent of the total, the Abingdon, England-based company said. It expects the shares to be admitted to the London Stock Exchange in early July.

The value of technology IPOs announced in Europe has increased 22 percent in the last 12 months, part of a global jump that’s seen cash generated from new listings rise 63 percent from a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Sophos delayed its 2007 share offering because of a tough economic climate, people familiar with the company said at the time.

The share sale will allow backers -- including funds advised by Apax Partners LLP and Investcorp Technology Partners III LP -- the chance to realize some of their investment in Sophos.

The company said its invoices are increasing, with billings of $476 million in the fiscal year ending in March, up 23 percent from a year earlier. Sophos targets medium-sized corporate customers and sells most of its products through a network of more than 15,000 partners.

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