Apax Partners has realised investments totalling around $7 billion so far this year, marking 2015 as a record year for exits, it is understood. The buyout firm has surpassed last year’s record of $5.8 billion.
The partial exit of Apax funds’ investment in Sophos Group, a UK-based data protection and IT security company, through an initial public offering has netted about €255 million ($286 million; £182 million) and generated a return of more than 2.5x.
The offer of a 34.8 percent stake in the company including new shares was priced at 225p a share valuing the company at £1.01 billion, according to a stock market statement. The IPO began on 26 June. Shares in the company will be admitted to the official list on 1 July.
Apax funds’ combined stake of about 65 percent held by Apax US VII, Apax Europe VII-A and B, Apax Europe VII-1, Apax Europe VI-A and Apax Europe VI-I was valued at around €836 million prior to exit, it is understood.
Apax funds acquired a majority stake in the company in 2010 for an enterprise value of €713 million.
Following the listing, Apax funds will remain the largest shareholders in the company with 40.1 percent. The founders represent the next largest shareholder group with 18.9 percent. Investcorp will hold a 2.5 percent stake.
The company, Apax, the founders, and Investcorp, will be subject to a 180 day lockup period, while the directors and management will be barred from selling shares without consent from the joint global coordinators for 360 days.
Apax’ other exits this year include the sale of a 90% stake held with Permira in UK fashion retailer New Look in a deal that valued the company at £1.9 billion, as reported by Private Equity International in May. The sale generated a 4.4x return for Apax. That followed its announcement in April that the sale of IT consulting group iGate, which included Apax’s 29 percent stake, would return $1.2 billion to the firm and generate a return of 4x. In the same month Apax announced it was selling its stake in Italy’s Banca Farmfactoring without disclosing the terms.