April 26, 2018 / 9:00 AM / a month ago

Cyber security firm Avast targets $4.5 billion valuation in IPO

LONDON (Reuters) - Private equity-backed cyber security firm Avast is targeting a market capitalization of between 2.5 billion and 3.2 billion pounds ($3.5-4.5 billion) in its initial public offering (IPO), potentially the biggest London listing since July.

The logo of Avast Software company is seen at its headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic, April 12, 2018. REUTERS/David W Cerny

The bookrunner announced a price range of between 250 pence and 320 pence a share on Thursday, aiming to sell around 25 percent of the company and raise about $200 million in proceeds from the issue of new shares.

The market admission will take place on May 10, the bookrunner said.

The London Stock Exchange is working to attract more technology IPOs, usually more drawn to New York. Sophos is the only other cyber security firm listed in Britain.

In 2017, Avast’s adjusted revenue was $780 million and adjusted cash earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was $451 million.

With net debt of around $1.35 billion, the enterprise value of the company could be up to $5.9 billion after the offering.

Avast is 46 percent-owned by its founders, Czech entrepreneurs Pavel Baudis and Eduard Kucera. CVC Capital Partners [CVC.UL] has a 29 percent stake, with Summit Partners holding 7 percent.

Morgan Stanley and UBS are global coordinators for the offering.

The listing is expected to be the biggest by market capitalization in London since July when the floatation of Russian gold company Polyus gave it a 6.3 billion pound market value.

($1 = 0.7193 pounds)

Reporting by Dasha Afanasieva; Editing by Mark Potter

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