Darktrace confirms IPO plans with listing targeted for early May

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Darktrace PLC has confirmed plans to float on the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange’s main market, with admission of the shares planned for early May.

The cybersecurity group said on Monday that it will undertake an initial public offering (IPO) at a yet to be disclosed offer price. Reports suggest the company’s management are looking for a valuation of around £3.5bn. 

READ: Darktrace IPO prospects muddied as reports emerge of contradictory information regarding role of tech billionaire

Darktrace said it is aiming to have a free float of at least 20% of its share capital following admission, adding that it expects to be eligible for inclusion in the FTSE UK indices.

The firm added that the details of the offer will be disclosed in its prospectus when it is published, but said the proceeds of its fundraising will be used to accelerate new product development, drive broader awareness of its products globally and strengthen its balance sheet.

Darktrace will be hoping that its IPO follows the trend of several other strong floats on the LSE so far this year including online greeting card retailer Moonpig Group PLC (LON:MOON) and boot maker Dr Martens PLC (LON:DOCS).

The company will also be looking to avoid being another high-profile tech flop like Deliveroo Holdings PLC (LON:ROO), which made a distinctly lacklustre debut last month.

However, Darktrace may find its IPO prospects have been muddied by a potential public relations issue after reports emerged last week saying the company had provided contradictory information relating to the role of British tech billionaire Mike Lynch.

A recent FT report said that in 2018 the firm told the paper that Lynch had left its advisory council the year before to explain why he was removed from the firm’s website. However, the company’s listing document filed earlier this week showed that Lynch had remained on the council until last month.

The inconsistency threatens to undermine Darktrace’s efforts to distance itself from Lynch’s legal troubles, with the billionaire currently battling extradition to the US to face allegations that he inflated revenues at Autonomy, a software company he founded and then sold to HP for US$11bn in 2011. Lynch denies all the allegations.

Darktrace could find itself embroiled in the legal drama, which in turn is likely to put investors off backing the firm when it goes public.

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