Apr 26, 2024 - Business

Thoma Bravo to buy cybersecurity firm Darktrace for $5.3 billion

Illustration of a giant cursor piercing a laptop screen.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Private equity firm Thoma Bravo has agreed to buy Darktrace, a British cybersecurity firm, for around $5.3 billion.

Why it matters: The shorts just got squeezed very, very hard.

  • Darktrace has long been a popular target of the naysayers, largely because it was co-founded and initially funded by Mike Lynch, the former Autonomy CEO and HP exec who's on trial in the U.S. for fraud.
  • Lynch no longer served on Darktrace's board, but he does remain one of its largest shareholders. But several top Darktrace execs previously worked for Autonomy, including CEO Poppy Gustafsson.

Details: The 620 pence per share offer represents around a 20% premium to where Darktrace shares closed on Thursday.

  • Thoma Bravo previously held takeover talks with Darktrace in 2022, but then walked away.

Go deeper, via CNBC: "[Darktrace's] move private will be seen as a major blow to the London Stock Exchange, where it listed in 2021. The company was seen as a welcome dynamic addition to a market often characterized as less appealing to technology firms than those in the U.S. or Asia."

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