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Sophos has sold a majority stake in its Abingdon-based anti-virus software business to private equity firm Apax Partners in a deal that values the company at £547m.

Sophos is planning to raise £100m in a flotation on the London Stock Exchange to fund the expansion of its Oxford-based IT security software business, which currently employs 1,115 staff.

Sophos is creating 70 new jobs at its anti-virus software business in Abingdon over the next few months.

Sophos has announced plans to create 400 new jobs in its anti-virus business over the next two years, as part of a £30m expansion that will involve moving to a new headquarters at the Abingdon Science Park.

Sophos, the developer of anti-virus software, has announced plans to set up a new research centre in Abingdon, open an office in Japan and recruit 100 technical, sales and marketing staff this year.