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Is the LSE about to see its largest ever tech IPO?

Czech anti-virus vendor Avast is set to launch the UK’s largest-ever tech IPO by listing on the London Stock Exchange with a £2.8bn valuation, according to reports.

Avast is aiming to raise $1bn, Reuters claims, through a combination of primary and secondary sales.

Its IPO is expected to have a free float of at least 25 per cent of Avast’s issued share capital with the target of raising around $200m in initial returns.

But the firm is rumoured to be targeting a further $800m in secondary sales, which would bring its valuation to around $4bn.

Cybersecurity competitor Sophos made the UK’s largest ever IPO for a UK software company in 2015, when it floated on the London Stock Exchange with a valuation of $1.6bn.

Avast is being backed by Swiss private equity firm CVC Capital Partners for its IPO on the London Stock Exchange. The listing could take place as early as next month.

It will be the second IPO attempt for the firm since its 2012 bid to float on the Nasdaq which it abandoned due to “tough market conditions”.

The vendor claimed it had revenues of $780m in 2017, and a headcount of 1,700 worldwide.

Avast acquired fellow Czech-founded security vendor AVG in 2016 for $1.3bn. At the time, CEO Vince Steckler said the deal will bring Avast closer to the B2B space, particularly among SMB customers, with the goal of striking a 50-50 split between B2B and B2C sales.

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