Darktrace has had ups and downs since its IPO.
Thoma Bravo acquires Darktrace, which the company could take private after its IPO in spring 2021.
Darktrace confirmed the takeover talks with Thoma Bravo in a filing with the London Stock Exchange. The company is based in the UK.
Darktrace said it is in the early stages of talks with Thoma Bravo. This is in connection with the possible cash offer for the entire issued and issuable share capital of the company.
“Discussions are at an early stage and there can be no certainty that an offer will be made, nor the terms of any such offer,” it said.
According to the regulation, Thoma Bravo Darktrace must either make an offer or indicate by September 12th that he does not intend to make an offer.
We were unable to reach Thoma Bravo for comment.
Darktrace began public trading with its initial public offering (IPO) in April 2021. It is an artificial intelligence (AI) company specializing in cyber defense. The portfolio is extensive and includes cloud security, threat visualization, and network detection and response (NDR).
Darktrace sells through a variety of partner types including VARs, MSSPs, small consultancies, and other technology partners.
Rick Turner is principal analyst at Omedia, which shares a parent company with Channel Futures (Informa).
“Darktrace has had ups and downs since going public, followed by a very hot month or two,” he said. “I haven’t tracked its stock to see how it’s doing now, but the bigger story for me is that Darktrace was ahead of the pack with an AI/ML-based approach to network security known as NDR. But the market has prevailed. There are many other names in this segment, including the likes of Vectra. But perhaps more important has been the growth of Extended Detection and Response (XDR), which includes NDR. But endpoints combine telemetry from the cloud and other domains like email and identity stores to address enterprise-wide threats. So a dedicated NDR product might not be that attractive.”
“Stuck in the drain of their chosen ones”
Turner sees Darktrace as “trapped in its chosen groove when the market itself has gone elsewhere or moved past the NDR”.
“Surely some players are still plowing NDR Faro (Gigamon, XtraHop, Vectra, etc.) like Lastline was until it was bought by VMware (who introduced it to XDR Play with their Carbon Black technology),” they said. “While the XDR talk is sucking a lot of oxygen from the market, PurePlay leaves NDR less wiggle room in my humble opinion.”
That doesn’t mean Darktrace is unattractive to Thomas Bravo, Turner said.
“In fact, they could be very attractive if they could do a little corporate engineering and merge them with some of their other multiple cyber acquisitions,” he said.
Other Thoma Bravo M&A
Meanwhile, Thoma Bravo remains active in M&A. It acquires Ping Identity for $2.8 billion in cash, taking the enterprise identity management company private. Thoma Bravo’s other cybersecurity acquisitions include Sophos, Proofpoint and SailPoint Technologies.
KKR, a global investment firm, has acquired Barracuda Networks from Thoma Bravo for approximately $4 billion.