After a tumultuous year-and-a-bit on the stock market it looks like AI-driven cyber security firm Darktrace might be set for an exit into private equity ownership.
Though any deal is still in the early stages, the language around this preliminary approach doesn’t suggest huge resistance from Darktrace at this point.
If it goes through, the acquisition of Darktrace would, yet again, thin the ranks of an already under-represented technology sector in London.
“You can see why going private might appeal. While Darktrace shares trade materially higher than the 350p IPO price, it has seen considerable volatility since its April 2021 float,” says AJ Bell financial analyst Danni Hewson.
“The wild swings in the share price, while linked to instability in the tech space and wider markets, do suggest that UK investors have struggled to get to grips with this complex tech story.
“After all, Darktrace is in one of the hottest areas of the tech world, with demand for cyber security increasing amid concern over Russian cyber warfare linked to the conflict in Ukraine.
“The controversy surrounding its co-founder Mike Lynch hasn’t helped Darktrace, as he continues to fight extradition to the US on fraud charges.
“In the context of all these challenges, it is perhaps not that surprising that Darktrace may want to move out of the spotlight.”