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Darktrace shares drop 30% after US acquisition called off

Darktrace acquisition
Image credit: Wirestock Creators via Shutterstock

Shares in the UK cybersecurity company Darktrace have dropped more than 30%, following the announcement that the rumoured acquisition by US-based private equity firm Thoma Bravo was off.

In a statement coinciding with its first full-year report, Darktrace said Thoma Bravo had no plans to make an offer, despite the firm reportedly being in early talks to acquire the London-listed company.

“Early-stage discussions took place with Thoma Bravo about a possible offer for the company, but an agreement could not be reached on the terms of a firm offer,” said Darktrace in a statement.

“Thoma Bravo is a well-respected organisation with a number of cyber security investments, so it is no surprise that our world-leading technology caught their eye.

“I firmly believe, and so does the board, that we still have so much more value to bring to this business as an independent company.”

In its full-year report, Darktrace CEO Poppy Gustafsson said “we have a proven business model, which is generating cash. Today’s results are yet another example of our strong performance.”

Gustafsson then said that “being listed on the London Stock Exchange is exactly where we want to be right now”, suggesting the UK market need not worry about a delisting, for now at least.

Founded in 2013, Darktrace was listed on the London Stock Exchange in April 2021. The share price surged 30% following the rumours that Thoma Bravo was in talks to acquire the company. The boost in Darktrace shares was undone following the cancelled acquisition talks.

In April this year, shares in Darktrace dropped by around 11% despite the “strong sales performance” reported by the company.