WANdisco changes name in ‘new beginning’ for software company after fraud saga
- Shareholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the name change in August.
- Stephen Kelly, chief executive of WANdisco, said the move was “not just a name change”.
- WANdisco shares were suspended from trading for four months earlier this year.
WANdisco has changed its name to Cirata in hopes of ending a stormy year marred by a fraud investigation and the layoff of 30 percent of its workforce.
The company hopes to list on the London Stock Exchange under its new name from Thursday, after shareholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the change at an annual general meeting in August.
Cirata, a portmanteau of the words “cirrus cloud” and “data,” was chosen by the company with a view to separating itself from the accounting scandal that engulfed it earlier this year.
New name: WANdisco has changed its name to Cirata after a particularly stormy year
The software provider, whose headquarters are in Sheffield and California, previously admitted to experiencing “months of trauma” following the controversy.
Stephen Kelly, CEO of WANdisco, said the rebrand is “not just a name change” but “a new beginning for the company and will have a positive impact on all aspects of our business.”
He added: “We are excited to have this opportunity for Cirata to become a global market leader.”
In early March, WANdisco shares were suspended from the AIM junior market when “significant, sophisticated and potentially fraudulent irregularities” were discovered in the company’s 2022 financial accounts.
An independent investigation found that a single senior employee was responsible for overstating revenues and recording £88 million of false sales bookings. The Financial Conduct Authority opened another investigation.
In reality, WANdisco turned over £7.4 million last year instead of £18 million as incorrectly published, while its reserves were equal to £8.7 million instead of £97 million.
The saga led to about 30 percent of its employees being laid off, the departures of chief financial officer Erik Miller and co-founder and CEO David Richards, and left the company struggling to survive.
A major lifeline came over the summer, when the group raised £24.3m from investors as part of a share placement.
This finally allowed WANdisco shares to begin trading again on July 26, when they returned at a 96 percent discount to their final share price before the suspension.
They rose 1.3 per cent to 63.8p on Wednesday morning, having been at £13.10 when they were suspended seven months ago.
WANdisco creates software that allows companies to transfer large-scale data sets to the cloud for use in fields such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Some of its biggest clients include automakers General Motors and Mercedes-Benz Group, tech giants Google and Amazon, and web hosting platform GoDaddy.
Just before the accounting scandal broke, it was one of the UK’s fastest-expanding companies and was considering a listing in New York.