Thoma Bravo in early talks over Darktrace bid; GRO Capital picks up Netigate

Darktrace market cap jumps over £500m after news breaks.

Good morning Eurohubsters, it’s Craig McGlashan with the Dealflow today.

After a pretty quiet start to the week things have really livened up in European private equity, with the news that Thoma Bravo is in the early stage of discussions to buy cyber-defence firm Darktrace in what could be a blockbuster deal.

Private mode. The board of Darktrace confirmed after the market close on Monday that it was in talks about a possible cash offer for its entire share capital, adding that talks are in a preliminary stage and there was no certainty of a deal.

Darktrace’s market cap on the FTSE 250 shot up from around £2.7 billion ($3.2 billion; €3.2 billion) on Monday to £3.24 billion this morning.

Under City rules, Thoma Bravo must announce no later than 5pm on 12 September whether it will make a firm offer or will not be making a move.

Darktrace has filed over 100 patents and research on cyber security. It claims to differentiate itself from others in the cyber security world by learning about users then applying that understanding to optimise the user’s security, rather than studying cyber attacks.

The firm employs over 2,000 people and has 7,400 customers.

Darktrace is headquartered in Cambridge in the UK and has offices across the world. The timing of the potential deal is quite apt as its potential owner, Thoma Bravo, is in the process of expanding beyond its three US offices in San Francisco, Chicago and Miami by opening a site in London.

Thoma Bravo had $114 billion in assets under management as of 31 March and focuses on investments in software and technology companies.

Experience management. Keeping with the software theme, GRO Capital has bought Netigate.

Netigate is an experience management platform that allows customers to collect, analyse and take action on insights gathered from their customers and employees. The Stockholm-based company has customers globally and offices in Sweden, Germany, Norway and Poland and has plans to expand further internationally.

“We are convinced that the experience management category will only be of increasing importance in the future for companies to continuously improve customer experiences and protect talent,” said Lars Lunde, partner at GRO Capital. “Netigate has created a highly scalable experience management platform which, today more than ever, is poised for growth through extensive product innovation and focused go-to-market efforts. We are thrilled to support Netigate’s long-term growth and leverage GRO Capital’s operational and software expertise to capitalise on this rapidly growing market opportunity.”

GRO’s investment will aim to enhance Netigate’s sales, product innovation and aid its marketing efforts.

That’s it from me – have a great day and I’ll see you tomorrow.