Apax Partners has taken a majority stake in security vendor Sophos with the aim of getting a foothold in a strong performing sector.
There had been some expectations among the analyst community that Sophos would opt for a listing but the Apax deal has put paid to that for the time being.
The Apax investment values Sophos at $830m and when the deal is completed the founders of Sophops, Dr Jan Hruska and Dr Peter Lammer, will keep a small shareholding. The existing VC backer TA Associates has sold its minority stake as part of the deal.
The security market has remained fairly immune to the recession and as the busy stands and product launches at last week's InfoSec show in London demonstrated the sector is optimistic about having a good year.
Salim Nathoo, a partner in the Tech &Telecom team at Apax Partners, said that it had identified the security software space "as an attractive investment area for us given its rapid growth".
"Sophos is a very strong platform and is gaining market share," he added.
Steve Munford, CEO of Sophos, said that the backing of Apax was good news for resellers and customers.