By Paul Sandle
LONDON (Reuters) -U.S. technology investment firm Thoma Bravo said on Thursday it would not make an offer for Darktrace after it failed to agree the terms of a deal for the British cybersecurity company.
Shares in Darktrace, which listed in April 2021, plunged 30% to 359 pence after the announcement.
Darktrace said last month it had received several preliminary and conditional proposals from Thoma Bravo, sending its stock to 560 pence in the following days and giving it a market value of just over 4 billion pounds.
“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,” Darktrace said.
Under British takeover rules, Thoma Bravo cannot make an offer for Darktrace for six months unless another company makes a firm offer or it reaches agreement with Darktrace’s board.
Darktrace was backed by Mike Lynch, the tech entrepreneur who was ruled by a British judge to have masterminded an elaborate fraud when he sold his company Autonomy.
Darktrace said it continued “to be very confident” in its future prospects, as shown by its results for the year to the end of June published on Thursday.
But it missed its own forecast for revenue after it said $3.8 million of revenue in its first half should have been reported in its prior financial year.
The accountancy error resulted in revenue coming in at $415.5 million, 45.7% higher than the restated 2021 figure.
The group, which uses artificial intelligence to detect attacks and vulnerabilities inside IT networks rather than building barriers at the perimeter, reported a net profit of $1.46 million versus a loss of $145.8 million a year earlier.
(Editing by Kate Holton; Editing by Edmund Blair)