The agency will also advise on the company’s engagement in a ‘144a’, through which it will attempt to raise money in the US.
Under rule 144a of the US Securities Act, governed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, a company faces a number of restrictions when it embarks on a financing roadshow, including caps on increasing its news output. But Sophos is renowned for generating news stories around computer viruses, often quoting its senior technology consultant Graham Cluley, who enjoys near celebrity status within the industry.
The amount of news Sophos generates is a lesson to other private companies looking for interest in the US,’ said College Hill partner Sara Musgrave, who heads the account.
College Hill picked up the account through a prior relationship with Sophos’ chief financial officer, Paul Smolinski, who Musgrave advised when he worked for The Innovation Group.
Oxford-based Sophos is likely to be valued at more than £300m if the listing is successful. The company is 25 years old, and counts Revlon, Vodafone, Lockheed Martin, Heinz and Marks & Spencer among its clients.
Sophos is expected to generate strong US interest and provide a fillip to the UK IT market. It is currently the largest private company in its sector.