Thoma Bravo to Buy Sophos Group for $3.8bn

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A British manufacturer of cybersecurity products is to be bought by American private equity firm Thoma Bravo for $3.8bn.

Thoma Bravo, which raised billions for its latest private equity fund this year, bought Imperva and another cybersecurity firm, Veracode, in late 2018. In a buyout deal announced earlier today, Thoma Bravo said that it will be adding Sophos Group to its fast-growing cybersecurity portfolio. 

Sophos manufactures antivirus and encryption products for an impressive list of customers that includes Under Armour IncFord Motor Co., and Toshiba Corp

Thoma Bravo already owns Sophos' close competitor Barracuda Networks, which made a name for itself managing data security over the cloud. 

Shares in Sophos were listed at 225 pence per share in 2015, but since then they have more than doubled to the 583 pence per share closing price recorded on Friday, October 11. 

In a statement released today, Sophos CEO Kris Hagerman said: "Sophos is actively driving the transition in next-generation cybersecurity 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."

Hagerman told news organization Reuters that his company was first approached by Thoma Bravo in June of this year.

"The (Sophos) board ultimately concluded that this offer and the acquisition can accelerate Sophos' progress in next-generation cybersecurity," Hagerman said.

Thoma Bravo is a leading private equity firm focused on the software and technology-enabled services sector with more than $35bn in investor commitments. With a 40-year history, Thoma Bravo has acquired more than 200 software and technology companies representing more than $50bn of value.

In a statement released on Monday, Seth Boro, managing partner at Thoma Bravo, said: "The Acquisition fits with our strategy of investing in and growing software and technology businesses globally. 

"The global cybersecurity 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."

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