Clearwater cybersecurity training company KnowBe4 has received a multibillion-dollar offer to go private
Cybersecurity firm KnowBe4 Inc (KNBE.O) said that Vista Equity Partners had offered to take it private for $4.22bn in cash, the latest sign of private equity interest in a sector whose valuations have declined in this year’s downturn.
The private equity firm has made the company a buyout offer of $24 per share, a 39% premium over previous closing price of $17.30, in a deal that values the company at $4.2bn.
Companies tied to Vista already own 13.5% of voting shares of KnowBe4, including 2.6% of its Class A common stock and 14.3% of its Class B stock, according to U.S.
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Subtracting the Class A and B shares that Vista’s companies already own, the equity group’s offer to buy all remaining shares would be worth approximately $3.8bn.
Private-equity firms have this year been taking advantage of the fall in valuations of technology companies due to worries over rising interest rates and an economic slowdown. The rise of hybrid work has also made cybersecurity firms attractive targets.
The bid from Vista comes amid a string of large investments by the Austin, Texas-based fund this year. The firm has struck 21 deals so far including the $16.5bn acquisition of cloud services firm Citrix Systems in January, according to investments tracker Tracxn.
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