On June 26, 2015, Sophos Group plc (“Sophos”), a global provider of cloud-enabled end-user and network security solutions focused on the small and mid-market segment, announced the successful pricing of its initial public offering when it listed on the London Stock Exchange at 225 pence per share. After the greenshoe option was exercised, a total of £405 million proceeds were raised, giving Sophos a market capitalisation of £1.0 billion upon listing. This transaction represented the largest UK software IPO in history at that time. Moelis & Company was mandated by Sophos to act as its exclusive financial advisor in connection with the IPO.
Moelis & Company led Sophos through the entire transaction, providing critical advice on matters such as syndicate structure, positioning and pricing. Due to the relative lack of software security companies listed in Europe at the time, Sophos was considered a scarce asset in that region. As a result, Moelis & Company’s advice to list in London, rather than the U.S., allowed Sophos to achieve a premium valuation from European investors. This resulted in an extremely high-quality order book, which was aligned with Sophos’ interests for the future.
Sophos performed strongly in the public markets following the IPO. Given the ongoing momentum in the share price, funds advised by Apax Partners LLP decided to reduce their holding in Sophos via a £159 million accelerated bookbuild offering, completed on December 1, 2015. Moelis & Company was the exclusive financial advisor to the funds advised by Apax Partners LLP on this transaction as well.