Avast Software has hired Rothschild to prepare for a share sale which could value the maker of the computer antivirus software as high as $4 billion. CVC Capital Partners acquired the company in 2014 and may seek an initial public offering (IPO) for Avast in the first half of 2018 Avast’s IPO would be the largest UK technology IPO, if successful.
Rothschild and CVC both declined to comment.
This year has shown increased interest in cyber security companies as global cyber-attacks interrupted businesses and government services across the globe.
Avast had filed to go public on Nasdaq in December 2011, but its listing was pulled in July 2012 because of tough market conditions. The company produces antivirus software for PC, Mac and Android, was valued at $1 billion when CVC acquired its majority stake. After a sequence of acquisitions in recent years, Avast’s value has nearly tripled.
Chief executive Vincent Steckler stated that the company was worth “upwards of $2 billion” in 2015 and the company needed a few more years before going public.
The company, has former SAP Chief Operating Officer Erwin Gunst on its board, reported revenues of $714 million for 2016 with core earnings of $353 million.
Its float is projected to exceed the record 1 billion pound IPO of Sophos.
Sophos has a market value of 2.8 billion pounds and its shares have rose from the IPO price 225 pence to the current 615 pence.
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This year, British IPOs have raised $5.2 billion, which is a 13 percent drop on the year. A revival for the market before the end of the year is unlikely as broadcasting firm Arqiva and meal supplier Bakkavor put an end to two of London’s largest deals. And the week prior, TMF ended plants of listing in London, electing a 1.75 billion euro sale to CVC instead.