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id: 194, Created by Stan Vick, Scout
Arqit (ARQQ) Case on Misleading
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E.D. New YorkCourt
01 Sept 2021Class period Start
14 Apr 2023Class period End
Investors suspect that during the Merger, as a result of which the $ARQQ became public, and further Arqit's Leaders & Its Advisers misinformed the Investors about the real business prospects, which led to the losses of the latter.
On September 2, 2021, Centricus merged with Arqit, and Arqit (ARQQ) survived the Merger. The security holders of Centricus, with the exception of those who chose to redeem their Centricus ordinary shares, became security holders of Arqit. As part of the Merger consideration, each Centricus shareholder received one Arqit ordinary share and one Arqit warrant for each ordinary share and warrant they held in Centricus, respectively, immediately prior to the Merger.
The U.K. cybersecurity startup rocketed to a multibillion-dollar valuation when it listed publicly on the promise of making encryption technology that would protect the defense industry, corporations, and consumers alike from the prying eyes of next-generation computer systems. Founder and CEO David Williams told investors at the time that his company had an “impressive backlog” of revenue and was ready “for hyper-scale growth."
On April 18, 2022, The Wall Street Journal released an article stating that "Arqit has given investors an overly optimistic view of its future revenue and the readiness and workability of its signature encryption system, according to former employees and other people familiar with the company, and documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal." On this news, ARQQ lost 17.1% or $313 mn of capitalization.
Taking into account all the statements and facts, there are suspicions to believe that the Company has significantly misinformed and failed to disclose investors about the real prospects, specifically:
- Arqit’s proposed encryption technology would require widespread adoption of new protocols and standards for telecommunications which had not yet been adopted;
- British cybersecurity officials questioned the viability of Arqit’s proposed encryption technology in a meeting in 2020;
- the British government was not an Arqit customer but, rather, providing grants to Arqit;
- Arqit had little more than an early-stage prototype of its encryption system at the time of the Merger;
- no commercial customer was using Arqit’s encryption system with live data;
- the bulk of the Company’s committed revenue wasn’t from selling its products;
- several clients the Company listed—including a number of British government agencies—were simply giving Arqit research grants, nonbinding memorandums of understanding or research agreements that come with no funding, not contracts for its encryption product, and
As a result, the statements about its business, operations, and prospects, were materially false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis at all relevant times.
Failure to Disclose,
Shock Event Date
18 April 2022
14 April 2023
Lead Plaintiff Deadline
14 June 2023