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Darktrace confirms intention to float on London Stock Exchange

UK cybersecurity company Darktrace has today (19 April) confirmed it’s intention to float on the London Stock Exchange, with admission currently expected to occur in early May.

Darktrace works or has worked with law firms including Sackers, K&L Gates, Wolf Greenfield & Sacks, Appleby and Brodies. Its Darktrace Immune System was one of the earliest examples of a company applying machine learning to improve security, with the system learning normal patterns of behaviour so that it can detect deviations in real time.

Darktrace says that the stock exchange listing will help it to raise proceeds to accelerate new product development, drive broader awareness of the Company’s products globally and to provide balance sheet strength and financial flexibility.

The company has been under the microscope for its links to Autonomy founder Mike Lynch, who has been charged with fraud over the $11bn acquisition of Autonomy by HP in 2011.

Darktrace received seed funding in 2013 from Mike Lynch’s investment vehicle Invoke Capital, which was instrumental in working with the founders in the early days. Darktrace’s CEO Poppy Gustafsson is ex Autonomy, as is chief strategy officer Nicole Eagan.

The news today confirms that the float is still on track, despite the fact that UBS has quit as IPO sponsor – it is widely reported by the mainstream media to have quit over the links to Lynch. However, UBS has its own challenges as CEO Ralph Hamers faces investigation over money laundering while at ING.

Darktrace recently hired Just Eat’s general counsel James Sporle, who took the online food business from pre-IPO to FTSE 100. Sporle previously worked at BP, and qualified as a solicitor at Linklaters.

Caroline.hill@legalitlexicon.com