Cyber security firm Avast eyes watershed London tech listing

LONDON (Reuters) – Cyber security software firm Avast said on Thursday it will apply to list its shares on the London Stock Exchange in what sources previously told Reuters would be a blockbuster float expected to value the company at around $4 billion.

The listing, which is expected to occur in early May 2018, will see a free float of at least 25 percent of Avast’s issued share capital with the aim of raising around $200 million in primary proceeds.

These funds will be used to pay down company debt and drive future growth, Prague-based Avast, maker of the world’s most popular antivirus software, said in a statement.

Reuters reported last November that the firm, which previously attempted to float on the Nasdaq in 2012, had hired Rothschild to prepare a London listing for the first half of this year subject to market conditions.

At the time, four sources familiar with the matter said the IPO could value the firm at as much as $4 billion, which would represent the largest ever UK technology IPO.

“A listing on the London Stock Exchange is a natural fit, providing us wider access to capital markets and supporting the future growth of our business in the years ahead,” said Vincent Steckler, CEO of Avast.

Avast, which is headquartered in the Czech Republic but has a global user base, had a turnover of $780 million in 2017.

Morgan Stanley and UBS have been appointed joint global co-ordinators and lead bookrunners.

Reporting by Emma Rumney, editing by Silvia Aloisi and Sinead Cruise

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