Today’s announcement continues a recent trend that has seen myriad companies retreating from the public markets, driven by opportunistic private equity firms looking to make a fast buck from nervous stockholders.
Founded way back in 1999, Cvent could be described as something of a Dotcom era survivor, raising bucketloads of venture capital cash ahead of a bumper IPO in 2013 that valued the company at around $1.5 billion on its opening day. Three years later, Vista Equity Partners swooped in with a $1.65 billion bid to take the company private, before returning to the public markets via a special purchase acquisition company (SPAC) a little more than a year ago.
In the intervening months, Cvent’s market cap has generally been on the descendancy, falling from its opening peak of around $4.7 billion to an average of around $2.5 billion for much of 2022.
Now, Vista Equity Partners has said that it will be selling all its remaining shares in Nasdaq-listed Cvent to Blackstone, though a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) will also be a “significant minority investor.” Cvent said that it expects the deal to close in mid-2023, after which it will be a privately-listed company once more.
In the first half of 2022, private equity firms spent nearly $300 billion on such deals, some 39% higher than the corresponding period from the previous year, with signs these past few months suggesting a similar trajectory will continue. Just yesterday, experience management software company Qualtrics accepted a $12.5 billion all-cash offer from private equity firm Silver Lake and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), while news emerged in December that spend management software firm Coupa was set to go private in a $8 billion deal spearheaded by Thoma Bravo.
Indeed, Thoma Bravo closed a new $32 billion buyout fund in December, which was followed last week by Permira’s new $17.7 billion fund. Vista Equity Partners, meanwhile, is reportedly halfway toward raising a new $20 billion fund.
Terms of the Cvent deal will see its shareholders receive around $8.50 per share, representing a premium of around 52% on the volume-weighted average price (VWAP) in the three-month period leading to the end of January, when reports first surfaced that Cvent was the subject of a fresh acquisition bid.