Sophos Makes Splash With IPO, Sets Valuation At $1.6B

As Sophos continues to propel its growth in an exploding market for cybersecurity technologies, the U.K.-based vendor has landed a $1.6 billion valuation in its Initial Public Offering (IPO), according to a filing Friday.

The company will trade on the London Stock Exchange as "SOPH."

Sophos announced its intention to pursue an IPO earlier this month, but did not release at the time its market capitalization, which determines share price and shares outstanding, and leads to a calculation of overall company value.

[Related: New Sophos Channel Leaders: We're Headed Full Force Into The Cloud]

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The Abingdon, U.K.-based company said in the filing Friday with the London Stock Exchange that it hopes to raise $125 million from the IPO at 225 pence per share. That converts to an overall company valuation of £1.013 billion, or around $1.6 billion.

CEO Kris Hagerman said in a statement that the IPO represents a "significant milestone" for the company as it continues its growth in an exploding market for cybersecurity technologies.

"Working with our 15,000 channel partners worldwide, we look forward to the next stage of our development as a public company -- and to continue to deliver "complete IT security made simple for enterprises of any size," Hagerman said in the statement.

Sophos declined to comment further on the IPO and what it might specifically mean for partners.

Partners praised the announcement, saying it will help drive awareness and channel growth for the vendor.

"I think [the IPO is] great," Sean Stenovitch, partner at Farmers Branch, Texas-based M&S Technologies, said. "I think it’s a good idea. I like it."

Stenovitch said he hopes the new influx of capital will be funneled into further developing the company's products and "strong" channel strategy. He said he sees the IPO as having "a lot of positives" if top management can stay focused on the company's vision.

"The only concern I ever have when companies become public, they can become very quarterly-driven -- as long as that doesn’t drive sales behavior," Stenovitch said.

If the company can maintain that vision, Stenovitch said he thinks the IPO will help Sophos extend its name recognition to expand its customer base possibly beyond the SMB market, a market in which the vendor is very strong.

"If they maintain that with the extra influx, I could see a lot of good things coming out of it," Stenovitch said.