back to article Private equity to gobble up Brit virus blocker Sophos for £3bn

Brit security software slinger Sophos has accepted an all-cash offer from US suitor private equity group Thoma Bravo of just over £3bn. The antivirus provider's shareholders will get $7.40 per share, a bonus of 37 per cent on Friday's prices. Recommending the offer, Sophos chairman Peter Gyenes said: "It is the view of the …

  1. TonyJ Silver badge

    I just hope...

    ...that they don't butcher their free UTM and XG home solutions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I just hope...

      ...that they make a similarly generous offer for my employer generating a nice payout on all those otherwise (for the moment) valueless share options... :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Or the socks :)

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: I just hope...

      butcher their free UTM

      I've used what used to be Astaro Linux (now UTM) pretty much from when it came out. No other product does exactly what it does (and for free on home setups) - I've tried some of the other firewall distributions and all of them seem to lack the one thing I started using Astaro for - proper SMTP support..

  2. Chloe Cresswell

    As a sophos reseller, I'm so happy to have found this out via my clients and elreg. I wonder when they'll tell us.

    1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

      You will soon notice

      As the price goes up, the quality down, and the service to pot. Once Sophos is loaded with £3bn of debt, all the staff will get "rightsized". That's what Private Equity does.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: You will soon notice

        They already own McAfee, so clear opportunities for cost synergies.[1]

        [1] cost synergies is management-speak for redundancies.

    2. anothercynic Silver badge

      Imagine being staff/ex-staff

      And finding out like this. Lovely, isn't it?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Equally as please

      Equally as pleased to have found it out via IT news rather than Sophos themselves as well, given we've been a partner for many years.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Equally as please

        Thoma Bravo obviously didn't want news of the merger getting out and increasing the price. I used to work at Embarcadero Technologies when they were owned by Thoma Bravo, and they are tight-lipped like that.

        Still, it is not a good look that long-time partners have to find out from El Reg or their customers.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Maybe when they make public the 4% redundancies from earlier this year

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Kris swinging the axe again, is he?

  3. old_IT_guy

    vulture capitalists...

    Thoma Bravo are no different to the rest of the breed - it's all about bottom line and squeezing margins, it makes no difference if that leaves the product understaffed or not, and usually does. Good luck to Sophos staff, if I were in your shoes I'd leave asap, these buy-outs rarely end well for staff.

    1. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: vulture capitalists...

      Oh, been there, done that... I'll just refer to the three rounds of heavy layoffs in 2012/13 after the new CEO arrived. You can only gobble up so much to keep your headline growth going before it all goes south.

  4. Crazy_Ivan

    collateral damage?

    Sophos also own Sandboxie which has been experiencing unexplained / inexplicable events since last April, and is now being offered as "freeware"? That would be a very great loss to Windows users.

  5. GreyBeardWizard

    Time to SPIN Astaro off again then as that product works, unlike the Cyberoam XG "cough" product ..

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Be interested to read some history of sophos

    - not many uk sw companies that have been around since the mid-80's.

  7. MrReynolds2U

    That's the end of them then.

    I would not be surprised if their quality and response drop, their prices will go up and suspicion will be raised about potential 3rd party involvement... endpoint security products are a great place to hide government spyware.

  8. Danny 2 Silver badge


    How is the brand name MacAfee still a selling point?

    It's akin to advertising "The Michael Jackson Creche and Kindergarten".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MacAfee

      If you bother to look at several leading independent testers McAfee do rather well these days...never heard of MacAfee though, perhaps they are abysmal.

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