Sophos bitten by venture capitalists

Venture capitalist outfit Apax Partners LLP is to buy a 70 per cent stake in insecurity outfit Sophos

The money men will fork out $400 million and shoulder some of Sophos' debt for in exchange for the majority share of the company.

Sophos is based in Abingdon, and turned over around $260 million over the past 12 months.

Jan Hruska and Peter Lammer, who co-founded Sophos in 1985, will retain stakes in the business, the company said.

Hruska said: "This transaction is good for Sophos, it is good for the employee shareholders, it is good for the investors and yes, it is good for the founders. The computer security field continues to expand with the quantity of threats increasing rapidly. The need for extremely rapid response to the threats has never been as important as it is today. The prospects for the further international growth of Sophos are excellent and we are continuing pursue it vigorously."