Permira is taking Squarespace private in $6.6 billion deal


Website builder Squarespace is going private in an all-cash deal that values the company on an equity basis at $6.6 billion, or a $6.9 billion enterprise valuation.

The acquiring company is U.K.-based private equity firm Permira, which only recently acquired a majority stake in Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity firm BioCatch.

Founded in 2004 by CEO Anthony Casalena, Squarespace is best known for its no-code platform designed to help SMEs and freelancers build websites, blogs, and online stores. It includes customizable templates and a “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) interface that users can configure by dragging and dropping different elements.

Shortly after raising $300 million at a hefty $10 billion valuation in 2021, Squarespace announced its intentions to go public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), hitting a $8 billion peak valuation in mid-2021. In the intervening months, the company’s valuation went into freefall, dropping to a low of $2 billion in 2022 — but this year has seen its stock hit its highest peak since late 2021, soaring past the $5 billion mark off the back of strong earnings.

As part of its offer, Permira said it will offer Squarespace shareholders $44.00 per share, representing a 29% premium on its average 90-day trading price and a 15% premium on its Friday (May 10, 2024) closing price.

In what is a huge vote of confidence in someone who steered the company from blog-hosting service while at university to a billion-dollar business, Casalena will remain both as CEO and board chairman, and will continue to be “one of the largest” Squarespace shareholders post-acquisition.

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