The Cloud

Private Equity Firm to Buy Cvent for $1.65B

Vista Equity is paying a 69% premium for the event management software company, which has been on a wild Wall Street ride since going public in 2013.
Katie Kuehner-HebertApril 18, 2016

Vista Equity Partners has agreed to acquire event management software company Cvent for $1.65 billion, the largest deal to date by the technology-oriented private equity firm.

Cvent, which was founded in 1999 and went public in 2013, offers a cloud app that helps companies organize and manage events ranging from online registration to processing payments. Vista already owns one of its competitors, Active Network Inc.

“Over the last several years, Vista has developed a leading portfolio of meeting technology providers,” Brian Sheth, co-founder and president of Vista, said in a news release. “This acquisition is our most significant investment in this space,”

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The deal will take Cvent private, with stockholders receiving about $36 per share, a 69% premium over Friday’s close of $21.30 per share. A spokeswoman for Cvent said the move will allow the company to fully “focus on its customers and business growth rather than the demands of investors and Wall Street.”

Since going public at $21 a share, Cvent has taken investors on  a wild ride. As Business Insider reports, the stock hit a high above $43 in 2014 but has fallen out of favor amid indications that Cvent would not be able to continue beating Wall Street financial targets.

In 2015, it had an operating loss of $16.5 million on $187.7 million in revenue, reflecting heavy spending on sales and marketing.

“Cvent has made moves to shift from consumer-oriented business lines to higher-growth corporate clients,” the Washington Business Journal said. The company expects to grow revenues another 22% to $228 million this year, but is still predicting a loss of about $30 million.

Cvent’s founder and CEO Reggie Aggarwal owns about 10.4% of the company and, according to the Journal, “stands to get a huge payout” about $154.8 million from its acquisition by Vista Equity.

“With Vista’s financial strength to invest in Cvent now and in the future, we will be better positioned to deliver innovative solutions that transform the meetings and events industry, and to offer employees new opportunities for career growth,” Aggarwal said.