Permira is taking Squarespace private in a $6.9 billion deal

Website builder Square space There is Going private The all-cash deal values ​​the company at $6.6 billion per share, or an enterprise valuation of $6.9 billion. The acquiring company is a UK-based private equity firm Permira.

Founded in 2004 by CEO Anthony Casalena, Squarespace is best known for its no-code platform designed to help SMEs and freelancers build websites, blogs, and online stores. It includes customizable templates and a “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) interface that users can configure by dragging and dropping different elements.

Squarespace filed to go public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shortly after raising $300 million at a $10 billion valuation in 2021, and reached a peak valuation of $8 billion in mid-2021. In the intervening months, the company’s valuation has plummeted, falling to $2 billion in 2022 — but this year the stock has hit its highest peak since late 2021, surpassing the $5 billion mark. On the back of strong earnings.

As part of its offer, Permira said it will pay Squarespace shareholders $44.00 per share, representing a 29% premium over its average 90-day trading price and a 15% premium over Friday’s (May 10, 2024) closing price.

One of the biggest hopes for someone who led the company from a blog-hosting service to a billion-dollar business while still in college is that Casalena will remain CEO and chairman of the board and continue to be “one of the great companies.” Squarespace partners post-acquisition.

Take-private

There’s been a flurry in the private equity space of late: Thoma Bravo snapped up cybersecurity firm DarkTrace in a $5 billion deal, followed by a similar deal to buy critical event management software firm Everbridge for $1.8 billion. Vista Equity also held up. announced plans to acquire revenue optimization platform Model N for $1.25 billion per month, while EQT subsidiary EQT Private Capital Asia acquired API and identity management software company WSO2 for more than $600M.

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Permira, for its part, has been involved in some mega-acquisitions in the past few years, including its 2022 take-private deal with Hellman & Friedman that saw it buy Zendesk for $10.2 billion and email security company Mimecast for $5.8 billion. A year ago.

Two weeks ago, Permira bought a majority stake in Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity firm BioCatch, which uses AI and machine learning to help banks monitor customers’ online behavior.

Squarespace, a consumer-grade website builder, is a far cry from Permira’s previous acquisitions. But it’s an attractive proposition for a private equity firm that’s often looking for a solid business that’s underperforming. Squarespace last year surpassed $1 billion in revenue in a single year for the first time, and counting Investments in generative AI (GenAI) is one of the reasons Permira is on call to help businesses create web content and email campaigns.

“The Squarespace ecosystem offers a broad offering for SMBs – from demand generation to powerful payment solutions, all seamlessly intertwined with intuitive GenAI,” Permira partner Andrew Young said in a statement. “We share Anthony and the team’s vision to further invest in these tools to help customers grow.”

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