Signaling a revival of the meetings and events sector after the post-pandemic lull, private-equity giant Blackstone has made a big bet acquiring meetings and events technology provider Cvent for $4.6 billion.
The Tysons, Va.-based tech company has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an affiliate of PE funds managed by Blackstone, Cvent said in a statement on Tuesday.
As per the agreement, stockholders of Cvent will receive $8.50 per share in cash, equivalent to a 52% premium to the volume weighted average share price over the 90 days before January 30, the day before media reports revealed prospective deal.
A fully-owned unit of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority will become a significant minority investor along with Blackstone in the transaction.
Vista Equity Partners, a global investment company focused on enterprise software, data and technology-enabled businesses and majority stockholder of Cvent, will invest a portion of its proceeds as non-convertible preferred stock in funding of the deal.
Cvent was reportedly valued at $5.3 billion in 2021, when Vista, which had acquired the tech company a few years ago for $1.65 billion, took it public in a merger.
The deal is expected to close mid-year, subject to customary closing conditions. Following the recommendation of a special committee, comprising independent and disinterested directors, the Cvent Board of Directors unanimously approved the merger. Once the transaction closes, Cvent’s common stock will not be publicly listed and will become a privately-held company.
Blackstone has received a fully committed $1 billion credit facility as part of the financing of the deal.
Blackstone has long been a thematic investor with a focus on hospitality real estate and adjacent businesses. In 2021, Blackstone and Starwood Capital acquired the Extended Stay America chain and its 650 properties for $6 billion. In 2022, in one of the biggest transactions for the PE firm in Asia Pacific, Blackstone acquired Crown Resorts Ltd., which comprised three premium resort and casino properties across Australia. In the same year, Blackstone, along with Starwood Capital bought 111 WoodSpring Suites properties for $1.5 billion from Brookfield Asset Management.
Sharing his “excitement” and “looking forward to the next chapter alongside the Blackstone team,” Cvent Founder and CEO Reggie Aggarwal said: “As one of the world’s largest private equity firms, Blackstone brings deep expertise in the event and hospitality industry, and with their backing, we plan to continue to invest in our business and deliver the innovative solutions that meet our customers’ needs and power the meetings and events ecosystem.”
Cvent has 22,000 customers globally in the corporate, non-profit, higher education and hospitality industries. Founded in 1999, the company has managed more than 5 million events and lists more than 302,000 hotels and venues on its Cvent Supplier Network, a virtual platform featuring tools to search, contract and negotiate with hotels and venues for event space.
The company’s event marketing and management platform provides software solutions to event marketers and organizers for online registration, venue selection, event management and marketing, attendee management and virtual and onsite solutions.
Martin Brand, head of North America Private Equity and global co-head of technology investing at Blackstone, said: “Cvent is an industry leader and we are excited to partner with their management team to continue the firm’s innovation and deliver world-class technology solutions to customers in the event and hospitality space.”
Qatalyst Partners served as financial advisor, while Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to Cvent. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Goodwin Procter LLP served as financial advisor and legal counsel to the special committee, respectively.
For Blackstone, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP was its legal counsel, while Evercore, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and UBS served as financial advisors.