Cyber security firm Avast set for £2.8bn IPO
Consumer antivirus provider Avast hopes to float on the London stock market next month, potentially attracting a valuation in excess of $4bn (£2.8bn) according to reports.
This would be one of the biggest technology floats ever in the UK and is likely to ping the company into the FTSE 250 at the first opportunity.
The company aims to raise around $200m of funding (roughly £140m) from new investors, although this will largely be used to pay down some of its approximate $1.4bn to $1.6bn net debt.
Avast mainly sells direct to consumers, both under its own banner and through its popular AVG suite of antivirus tools, which it bought in 2016.
The company also supplies various endpoint protection, device performance and privacy tools, password management and parental control solutions to small and medium-sized businesses.
Around 435m people worldwide use Avast solutions to protect PCs, laptops and smartphones from malware and computer viruses.
The company has put up impressive growth figures over the past three years, reporting underlying operating profit of $299.7m in 2017, on $652.9m of revenue. A raft of one-off costs and amortisation charges meant that it made a $28.9m pre-tax loss.