Sophos board backs US$3.9B acquisition deal

Sophos board backs US$3.9B acquisition deal

The acquisition is currently expected to complete during the first quarter of 2020

Credit: Dreamstime

Private equity firm Thoma Bravo has made an acquisition bid worth approximately US$3.9 billion for Sophos, with the cyber security solutions vendor’s board unanimously recommending the offer to the company’s shareholders. 

For Sophos chief Kris Hagerman, the deal, which currently puts the purchase price at US$7.40 per share in the UK-headquartered vendor, has the potential to represent a new chapter in the company’s growth history. 

“Today marks an exciting milestone in the ongoing journey of Sophos,” said Kris Hagerman, Sophos CEO. “Sophos is actively driving the transition in next-generation cyber security solutions, leveraging advanced capabilities in cloud, machine learning, APIs, automation, managed threat response, and more. 

“We continue to execute a highly-effective and differentiated strategy, and we see this offer as a compelling validation of Sophos, its position in the industry and its progress,” he said.

Based in the United States, Thoma Bravo is a firm focus on the software- and technology-enabled services sector, with more than $35 billion in investor commitments. Indeed, the firm has acquired more than 200 software and technology companies representing more than US$50 billion of value. 

Sophos told shareholders that, if approved, the acquisition is currently expected to complete during the first quarter of 2020, subject to receipt of the relevant competition clearances and regulatory approvals. 

Seth Boro, a managing partner at Thoma Bravo, said in a statement that the firm is excited by the opportunity to partner with the Sophos management team and employees as it further develops the vendor as a best-in-class software franchise and next generation security leader. 

“The acquisition fits with our strategy of investing in and growing software and technology businesses globally,” Boro said. “The global cyber security market is evolving rapidly, driven by significant technological innovation, as cyber threats to business increase in scope and complexity. 

“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," he said. 

Sophos told shareholders that Thoma Bravo's expertise with cybersecurity software companies, strong operational framework, along with its deep experience guiding companies through successful business model and technology transitions will enable it to accelerate Sophos' growth, enhance profitability, and further improve performance.

The acquisition bid comes just weeks after Sophos unveiled a new-look channel team across Asia Pacific, following three internal promotions at the security vendor.

The change saw Jon Fox appointed as channel director of Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ), with Natasha Lambert replacing him as channel director of Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ).

Sonia Chamberlain, meanwhile, stepped in to run distribution and SMB across A/NZ, assuming the role vacated by Lambert.

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