WANdisco rebrands in ‘new start’ for software firm after fraud saga
- Shareholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the name change in August
- Stephen Kelly, CEO 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 rebranded as Cirata in hopes of drawing a line under a tempestuous year marred by a fraud investigation and the sacking of 30 per cent of its workforce
The company expects to trade 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.
A combination of the words ‘cirrus cloud’ and ‘data’, Cirata was chosen by the firm with a view to separating itself from the accounting scandal which engulfed it earlier this year.
New name: WANdisco has rebranded as Cirata following a particularly tempestuous year
The software provider, whose headquarters are in Sheffield and California, has previously admitted to experiencing ‘months of trauma’ following the controversy.
Stephen Kelly, chief executive of WANdisco, said the rebranding was ‘not just a name change’ but ‘a new start for the company, and will positively impact every aspect 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 junior AIM market when ‘significant, sophisticated and potentially fraudulent irregularities’ were uncovered in the firm’s 2022 financial accounts.
An independent investigation found that a single senior employee was responsible for overstating revenues and registering £88million of false sales bookings. Another probe was opened by the Financial Conduct Authority.
WANdisco in actuality made £7.4million in turnover last year instead of £18million as incorrectly published, while its bookings equaled a paltry £8.7million rather than £97million.
The saga led to around 30 per cent of its employees being made redundant, the departures of finance boss Erik Miller and co-founder and chief executive David Richards, and left the company fighting for survival.
An important lifeline came during the summer when the group raised £24.3million from investors as part of a share placing.
This eventually allowed WANdisco shares to begin trading again on 26 July, when they returned at a 96 per cent discount to their final share price before suspension.
They were 1.3 per cent higher at 63.8p on Wednesday morning, having been £13.10 when they were suspended seven months ago.
WANdisco creates software that allows businesses to transfer large-scale datasets to the cloud for use in fields such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Some of its largest clients include carmakers General Motors and Mercedes-Benz Group, technology giants Google and Amazon, and web hosting platform GoDaddy.
Just before the accounting scandal erupted, it was one of the UK’s fastest-expanding businesses and was considering a listing in New York.