Squarespace to go private again in $6.9bn Permira deal

Website-building platform Squarespace is set to go private once again.

Private equity firm Permira has announced an all-cash deal valued at approximately $6.9 billion to acquire the company.

The move highlights a growing interest of private equity firms in tech companies that enable businesses to digitise their operations, enhance branding, and expand their online reach.

The deal comes less than three years after Squarespace went public, reflecting the increasing demand for online presence and e-commerce solutions, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Squarespace, along with its rivals like Wix, WordPress, and Shopify, played a crucial role in helping businesses transition online and sustain sales during the pandemic.

Permira's offer of $44 per share represents a 15.2 per cent premium over Squarespace's last closing price on Friday and values the company at more than $6.6 billion, exceeding its $6.5 billion valuation during its market debut in May 2021.

Upon going private, Squarespace aims to leverage the flexibility and resources provided by Permira to invest in enabling entrepreneurs to build better online brands and facilitate seamless transactions with their customers.

Founder Anthony Casalena will continue to lead the company as chief executive officer and board chairman, retaining a substantial majority of his existing stake, making him one of the largest shareholders after the deal.

The transaction is expected to close by the fourth quarter of 2024, with long-term investors Accel and General Atlantic agreeing to reinvest and vote in favour of the deal, signalling their confidence in Squarespace's future prospects.

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