The upcoming initial public offering (IPO) of cybersecurity firm Darktrace has hit some turbulence after reports emerged of contradictory information provided by the company relating to the role of British tech billionaire Mike Lynch.
An FT report on Thursday said that in 2018 the company told the paper that Lynch had left its advisory council the year before to explain why he was removed from the firm’s website. However, the company’s listing document filed earlier this week showed that Lynch had remained on the council until last month.
The inconsistency threatens to undermine Darktrace’s efforts to distance itself from Lynch’s legal troubles, with the billionaire currently battling extradition to the US to face allegations that he inflated revenues at Autonomy, a software company he founded and then sold to HP for US$11bn in 2011. Lynch denies all the allegations.
Darktrace could find itself embroiled in the legal drama, which in turn is likely to put investors off backing the firm when it goes public.
The company will be keenly aware of the effect public relations disasters can have on IPOs after tech unicorn Deliveroo Holdings PLC (LON:ROO) flopped at its own debut last month amid concerns over its profitability, governance and strike action by its delivery riders.
Deliveroo’s shares sank on their debut and have yet to recover to their IPO price of 390p.