Robert Smith, CEO of Vista Equity Partners. The private equity firm took Cvent private in 2016.
Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg News
Updated July 20, 2021 3:29 pm ET
Cvent Inc. has agreed to merge with a special-purpose acquisition company in a deal that would take the event-management software company public, according to people familiar with the matter.
Cvent is slated to merge with
in a transaction that values the private-equity-owned company at more than $5 billion including debt, the people said.
Cvent is owned by private-equity firm Vista Equity Partners, which took the company private in 2016 in a $1.65 billion deal.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, the maker of cloud-based event-management software focused only on live events, but it has pivoted over the past year to become a major player in the fast-growing arena of virtual events.
The company’s virtual-events arm now has more than $100 million in revenue, a significant chunk of its more than $500 million in annual sales, according to one of the people familiar with the matter.
Private companies are flooding to special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, to bypass the traditional IPO process and gain a public listing. WSJ explains why some critics say investing in these so-called blank-check companies isn’t worth the risk. Illustration: Zoë Soriano/WSJ
SPACs raise money by going public as empty shells and then have a set period, usually about two years, to find a business to merge with. The strategy, which can be quicker and have fewer regulatory hurdles than a traditional initial public offering, has surged in popularity in recent years, though lately it has shown signs of cooling.
With more than $77 billion in assets under management, Vista specializes in investing in makers of business software. The Austin, Texas-based firm, run by founder
uses a proprietary playbook to boost profits at the companies it buys.
Write to Miriam Gottfried at Miriam.Gottfried@wsj.com
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