Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Avast Software Files for $200 Million IPO

Avast Software filed for an initial public offering (IPO) of $200 million in common shares on December 20. They plan to use the proceeds for working capital and general corporate purposes. Avast is based out of Prague in the Czech Republic.

Avast said it may also use some or all of the money raised to invest in complementary companies, products or technologies. For the six months ended June 30, Avast reported a profit of $23 million. This is an increase from $4.4 million during the same period last year. Revenue jumped 87% to $37.9 million.

UBS Investment Bank and Deutsche Bank Securities are the lead underwriters on the deal. This initial public offering has been in the rumor mill for a while.

In August 2010, growth equity investor Summit Partners invested $100 million for a minority stake in Avast.

Results in 3rd Party Tests - Avast Has Mixed Results

In testing, Avast has been all over the place. In November, they came in 11th in the test for “Proactive Detection of New Malware”. They came in last in the av-comparatives October-November “Whole Product Dynamic Test”. G Data and Kaspersky came in first and 2nd, respectively. They came in 16th in this test for the 2nd half of 2011. They came in 8th in the August “On-demand Detection of Malicious Software” test. They scored above 90% and 80% respectively for Reactive Detection and Proactive Detection in the “RAP Averages Quadrant Apr-Oct 2011”. They’ve received VB100 awards for all tests entered in 2010 and 2011.

OPSWAT Security Industry Market Share Leader

In the OPSWAT December 2011 report on “Security Industry Market Share Analysis”, Avast is listed as the antivirus worldwide security industry market share leader, with a 15.9% share. Avast claims on their web site that they they protect 142 million active and 187 million registered users.

Ultimately, it'll be interesting to see how an Avast IPO fairs. Other security vendors are supposedly in the pipeline to go public.

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