Darktrace Acquisition: Mike Lynch Nets £4.2bn Payday
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Darktrace Acquisition: Mike Lynch Nets £4.2bn Payday

26 April 2024
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Darktrace Acquisition: Mike Lynch Nets £4.2bn Payday

Darktrace's Billion-Pound Buyout

Darktrace, one of the UK’s leading tech companies, is set to be acquired by Chicago-based Thoma Bravo in a £4.2bn takeover deal, marking a significant development in the landscape of cyber security and investment in Britain.

The acquisition will see Thoma Bravo purchase Darktrace at a price of $7.75 (620p) per share, representing a premium of 148% over its flotation price. This deal promises a substantial payday for Darktrace's founder, Mike Lynch, currently embroiled in a US trial over alleged fraud at Autonomy, another of his ventures. Lynch and his wife hold a combined stake of around 7%, estimated to yield nearly £300m from the sale.

Thoma Bravo's decision to acquire Darktrace underscores its focus on tech and software businesses, evident in its previous purchase of Sophos in 2020. Notably, Thoma Bravo intends to maintain Darktrace's operations in Cambridge and its research facilities in the UK, ensuring continuity in its innovative work.

The market responded positively to the news, with Darktrace's stock surging by almost 30% to 617p, reflecting investor confidence in the deal's completion. However, this acquisition reflects broader concerns about successful British companies opting to leave the London Stock Exchange, echoing recent trends observed with other prominent entities like Flutter Entertainment and E-therapeutics.

Darktrace's journey as a listed company has been eventful, with soaring shares in 2021 followed by a decline amid allegations of accounting irregularities from short sellers. Despite these challenges, Darktrace's sale to Thoma Bravo signals a new chapter for the company and reflects ongoing shifts in the UK's corporate landscape.

This acquisition highlights Thoma Bravo's significant support from Darktrace's major investors, including KKR and Summit Partners, and further demonstrates the allure of British tech enterprises to global private equity firms.

Persons1 and Companies6 in the news

British technology entrepreneur
1 place
Summit Partners
1 place
Sophos Ltd
2 place
HP Autonomy
3 place
Thoma Bravo
4 place
Darktrace
5 place
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