Startups

Squarespace to go private in $6.9 billion all-cash deal with private equity firm Permira

Almost a year after acquiring Google’s domain registrar business for $180 million, Squarespace said today it’s taking itself private in a $6.9 billion all-cash deal with the global private equity firm Permira.

In an announcement on Monday, Squarespace said that going private will give the company more flexibility and resources to invest in enabling entrepreneurs to build better online brands and more easily transact with their customers, upon the completion of the deal.

According to the deal, shareholders of Squarespace will get $44.00 per share in cash, which makes the whole transaction worth more than $6.6 billion based on equity value, and roughly $6.9 billion based on enterprise value. This price includes a bonus of around 29% compared to Squarespace’s average trading price over the last 90 days and a 15% premium over its closing share price of $38.19 on the NYSE as of May 10, 2024.

Under the terms of the agreement, Squarespace founder Anthony Casalena will continue to serve as Squarespace’s Chief Executive Officer and Board Chairman and lead the business in all aspects of its operations, along with Squarespace’s current leadership team, who are expected to continue their roles following the close of the transaction, Squarespace said in a news release.

“Squarespace has been at the forefront of providing services to businesses looking to establish themselves online for more than two decades. We are excited to continue building on that foundation, and expanding our offerings, for years to come,” said Anthony Casalena, Founder and CEO of Squarespace. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Permira on this new leg of our journey, alongside our existing long-term investors General Atlantic and Accel, who strongly believe in the future of Squarespace.”

David Erlong, Partner at Permira, said, “Squarespace has built a distinct and globally recognized creative brand and an incredible, design-driven platform of tools that empower entrepreneurs and small businesses to establish and scale their online presence. As a firm with a long history of backing leading internet platforms and technologies that enable SMBs to compete globally, we are excited to partner with Anthony and his team to support the company in unlocking its full potential.”

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

Anton Levy, Chairman of Global Technology, Co-President and Managing Director at General Atlantic, said, “We are proud to have supported Squarespace for more than a decade as Anthony and the team have built and scaled a very special and durable business. We look forward to being a part of the company’s next phase of growth.”

Due to the pending transaction, Squarespace said it will no longer hold its previously announced Investor Day scheduled for May 15, 2024.

In June 2023,  Squarespace,  the design-driven platform helping entrepreneurs build brands and businesses online, acquired Google domain business in a deal valued at $180 million, with JPMorgan Chase providing financing for a portion of the purchase.


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