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Friday 13 April 2018

Avast targets US$4bn London IPO

Avast targets US$4bn London IPOPrague-headquartered cyber security company Avast Software is reportedly targeting a US$4bn London Stock Exchange IPO as it looks to fund further expansion of its global operations. Despite its muted enterprise focus, Avast has a solid business model and a clear vision for the future which we think will be a strong pull for investors.

Backed by private equity firm CVC Partners, Avast has already grown considerably in recent years, acquiring rival AVG for US$1.3bn in 2016 and UK-based Piriform in 2017. Adjusted revenue for the last financial year (ending December 2017) reached US$780m (up 9% yoy from US$714m) with adjusted cash EBITDA jumping to US$451m from US$353m.

Around two thirds of Avast’s estimated 435m global users (which include around 14m in the UK) are consumers using its PC and smartphone antivirus products. The remainder are largely small to medium business (SMB) customers subscribing to its advanced endpoint protection and managed remote monitoring and support services. We guess the latter account for the lionshare of the company’s turnover given that the consumer proposition is based on a freemium model that doesn’t charge for the basic version of the software.

Avast management are bullish it can grow revenue further by upselling more of the premium paid products and driving greater cross-selling across its portfolio however. The company is busy developing products to address the Smart Home market (connected speakers, doorbells, IP cameras, thermostats, TV devices, digital personal assistants etc) through its SaaS based Smart Life IoT Security Platform. Avast employs around 1,700 staff globally (roughly 100 in the UK), including over 600 in research and development.

It is also targeting more partnership deals with telcos and mobile operators which will deliver its security solutions as part of mobile phone subscriptions, having recently forged agreements with Aircel in India and Vodafone in Avast’s native Czech Republic.

If the US$4bn valuation emerges (the company was valued by CVC at US$1bn in 2014), Avast’s IPO could be the biggest ever float for a technology company in the UK, though a previous attempt to float on the NASDAQ in 2012 was abandoned due to “tough market conditions” according to Reuters.

Posted by Martin Courtney at '08:53' - Tagged: ipo   cybersecurity   Avast  

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