Darktrace, the British cybersecurity firm, has announced plans to float its shares on the London Stock Exchange in a move that could value the company at about £3 billion.
Here’s everything you need to know about Darktrace’s impending IPO, including whether you can buy shares in the company.
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Darktrace: a brief overview
Darktrace is a cybersecurity firm, founded in 2013, that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to understand IT networks and detect attacks. Its systems constantly monitor its clients’ computer system to look for anomalies in behaviour.
Some of its high-profile clients include Coca-Cola and jet-engine maker Rolls-Royce.
Darktrace has been performing relatively well in recent times, with its revenue growing from $79.4 million (£57.8 million) to $199.1 million (£145 million) in the last two years.
The company’s largest shareholder is Invoke Capital, an investment fund owned by tech entrepreneur Mike Lynch, who is currently fighting a US extradition request to face charges of fraud stemming from the sale of his software company, Autonomy, to Hewlett-Packard (HP) in 2011.
However, Darktrace’s CEO has stated that Lynch is not involved in the company’s day-to-day operations and that his legal issues will not have an impact on the company’s performance.
When will Darktrace list its shares?
Although the company has already filed registration documents, no specific date has been set for its IPO.
According to some reports, it could happen towards the end of April.
How many shares will Darktrace list and what will they cost?
Darktrace has stated that it expects to float at least 20% of its shares, with plans to float an additional 15% through an over-allotment option. There will also be a secondary sell-down of existing ordinary shares by certain existing shareholders.
Darktrace says it will use the money from the flotation to speed up product development and strengthen its balance sheet.
The offer price for the shares is likely to be revealed once the company sets a date for the IPO.
How can I buy shares in Darktrace?
You will be able to buy Darktrace shares the day they float on the London Stock Exchange.
You can do this using your share dealing account. Once the shares are available for sale, simply log into your account and place an order. If you don’t have an account already, you should check out our list of top-rated share dealing accounts to get started with.
You can also invest in Darktrace using a stocks and shares ISA. This is essentially a wrapper that allows you to invest up to £20,000 per year tax free.
Keep in mind that tax rules can change and that tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances.
Compare stocks and shares ISAs
If you’re planning to open a stocks and shares ISA, choosing the right platform is important. To help you narrow down the choices, we’ve created a list of some of the top stocks and shares ISAs.
Can I buy shares before the official IPO?
Darktrace shares can be purchased prior to the IPO. However, this may prove difficult for retail investors. Most companies that go public tend to limit IPO participation to a few select and privileged investors.
Some brokerages, however, are able to participate in IPOs and thus provide their customers with pre-IPO shares. If you have or plan to open a brokerage account, you can contact your broker to see if they can provide access to Darktrace’s pre-IPO stock.
The main advantage of getting in early is that you get to buy shares at their offer price. This puts you in a good position to profit if they rise in value once they begin trading publicly.
Should I buy shares in Darktrace?
Investing in the stock market is, by definition, risky. However, it also provides opportunities for growth, particularly if the business is successful.
The important thing is to always do your homework before parting with your money. You should consider how the investment fits into your overall investment strategy before you make a decision.
Finally, remember that you don’t have to buy shares the day they begin trading. In fact, following Deliveroo’s disastrous stock market debut, investors might be better off waiting for the stock to settle and find its true value.
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