Shares in Darktrace dived from above 500p to below 350p this morning after a potential £6 billion private equity takeover was called off.

Chicago-based Thoma Bravo made an approach for the Cambridge-headquartered firm – a leader in cybersecurity AI – several weeks ago.

“Further to the announcement made earlier today by Thoma Bravo that it does not intend to make an offer for the company, the board of Darktrace confirms that discussions with Thoma Bravo have terminated,” stated Darktrace.

“Discussions with Thoma Bravo were first announced on 15 August 2022, in response to media speculation, after Darktrace had received a number of unsolicited, preliminary and conditional proposals from Thoma Bravo. 

“Consistent with its fiduciary obligations to consider any credible proposal which may be capable of recommendation to Darktrace shareholders, 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.”

Many investors reacted by selling their shares, sending the company’s market cap below £2.5bn.

The company has experienced rapid growth since listing on the London Stock Exchange last year. In a separate statement to the City on Thursday morning, it revealed 45.7% revenue growth to reach £415 million in the 12 months ended 30th June 2022.

Adjusted EBITDA jumped 173% to £91m, while its customer base grew 32.1% to nearly 7,500.

In July Darktrace revealed a slew of executive management changes including the exits of long-standing executives Emily Orton and Dave Palmer

The company, which protects customers worldwide from ransomware, insider threats and cloud attacks, assumes that threats will get inside an organisation. It uses self-learning technology to automatically detect these from within and defend against them.

“We are one of the world’s most innovative cybersecurity companies, with a mission of freeing the world of cyber disruption,” said CEO Poppy Gustafsson. 

“Since listing on the public markets, we’ve turbocharged our growth by adding ground-breaking products to our platform, including our new PREVENT offerings. 

“We have a proven business model, which is generating cash. Today’s results are yet another example of our strong performance. Being listed on the London Stock Exchange is exactly where we want to be right now.”

Darktrace has more than 1,700 employees and more than 30 offices worldwide.

Earlier this year it acquired an attack surface management company for €47.5m.

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