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Exclusive-Events software vendor Cvent rebuffs $3.9 billion Blackstone bid-sources

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside the Blackstone Group headquarters in New York City, U.S., January 18, 2023. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon/File Photo

By Milana Vinn

(Reuters) – Cvent Holding Corp, a U.S. software provider that facilitates in-person and virtual meetings, has rejected a $3.9 billion acquisition offer from buyout firm Blackstone (NYSE:) Inc, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Blackstone is taking a break from the negotiations after Cvent rejected its $8-per-share offer as too low, the sources said. Shares of Cvent, which is controlled by private equity firm Vista Equity Partners Management LLC, had ended trading on Thursday at $7.64.

Cvent was not exploring a sale when Blackstone approached it with an unsolicited offer, and it is unclear whether the latter with return with a new offer or if any other bidder will emerge.

The sources asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Cvent, Blackstone and Vista Equity declined to comment.

Based in Tysons, Virginia, Cvent offers a marketing and management platform used by the events and hospitality industries. Vista acquired Cvent for $1.65 billion in 2016 and took it public at a $5.3 billion valuation in a merger with a blank-check acquisition company in 2021.

Cvent shares have since dropped due to concerns that an economic slowdown, brought about by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s higher interest rates to fight inflation, will lower demand for conferences and events that drive the company’s business. Blackstone’s acquisition attempt highlights how some private equity firms are pouncing on the plunge in valuation of some companies in their pursuit of a bargain, especially in the technology sector where many stocks posted big drops.

Rajeev Aggarwal, the founder and chief executive of Cvent, said on the company’s third-quarter earnings call with analysts in November that, while the company expected to take a hit from a potential recession, it also expected to win market share.

“Even though our business is not recession-proof, we believe we are recession resilient,” Aggarwal said.

In the third quarter, Cvent reported adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $33.7 million, up from $23.4 million a year ago. Revenue jumped 20.3% year-on-year to $161.3 million.

Vista owned 81.5% of Cvent as of the end of December.

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