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Darktrace agrees takeover by US private equity firm Thoma Bravo

Darktrace Thoma Bravo
Image credit: rafapress / Shuttertock

London-listed cybersecurity giant Darktrace has agreed a deal to be acquired by US private equity firm Thoma Bravo at a valuation of $5.3bn (£4.2bn).

The 620p-a-share cash offer, which the board has recommended to shareholders, is a 20% premium to the company’s closing price of 517p.

The announcement caused a surge of around 20% in Darktrace’s share price to 620p on Friday morning.

It comes just three years after the cybersecurity company listed on the London Stock Exchange and would be seen as a major blow to the UK’s public markets.

While the Cambridge-founded company has not recaptured its market peak of 945p per share in October 2021, Darktrace remains up from its debut price of 330p per share.

Darktrace is considered one of London’s most successful recent tech listings amid a dearth of IPOs. Last year, the London Stock Exchange lost out on the public listing of Arm, the largest float of 2023, to New York.

Should Thoma Bravo’s acquisition of Darktrace pass, the delisting would put further pressure on the City to implement planned reforms.

A spokesperson for the Darktrace board said the acquisition by Thoma Bravo will “support Darktrace’s growth and investment in continued innovation in cybersecurity artificial intelligence” and allow it to “offer an expanded product portfolio across a deeper set of segments, industries and markets to deliver value to customers”.

Thoma Bravo partner Andrew Almeida said: “The pace of innovation in cybersecurity is accelerating in response to cyber threats that are simultaneously complex, global and sophisticated.

“Darktrace is driven by a culture of innovation and we are excited by the opportunity to work alongside Darktrace’s team and accelerate its development into a scaled, global leader, further strengthening its capability and offer to customers.”