Cvent will go private again in a $4.6 billion Blackstone deal

Meeting and event management software provider Cvent is to be taken private once again as part of a $4.6 billion deal involving two of the biggest players in the private equity industry.

Today’s announcement continues a recent trend that has seen many companies withdraw from public markets, driven by opportunistic private equity firms looking to make a quick buck from nervous shareholders.

Dotcom survivor

Cvent, founded in 1999, can be described as something of a survivor of the Dotcom era, raising plenty of venture capital cash before a bumper IPO in 2013 that valued the company at about $1.5 billion on opening day. Three years later, Vista Equity Partners filed a $1.65 billion bid to take the company private before returning to the public markets through a special buyout acquisition company (SPAC) just over a year ago.

Cvent’s market cap has generally fallen in the intervening months, falling from its opening peak of around $4.7 billion to an average of around $2.5 billion through most of 2022.

Now Vista Equity Partners has said it will sell its remaining stake in Nasdaq-listed Cvent to Blackstone, although a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) will also be a “significant minority investor”. Cvent said it expects the deal to close in mid-2023, after which it will once again become a privately-listed company.

In the first half of 2022, private equity firms spent about $300 billion on such deals, about 39% more than the same period last year, with signs over the 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 in December news broke that Coupa was going private : An $8 billion deal led by Toma Bravo.

Indeed, Toma Bravo closed a new $32 billion buyout fund in December, followed last week by Permira’s $17.7 billion new fund. Meanwhile, Vista Equity Partners is halfway through raising a new $20 billion fund.

Under the terms of the Cvent deal, its shareholders will receive about $8.50 per share, representing a premium of about 52% to the volume-weighted average price (VWAP) in the three months to the end of January, when reports first emerged that: Cvent was the subject of a new buy request.

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