May 13, 2024 - Business

Permira to buy website builder Squarespace for $6.6B

Illustration of two people shaking hands on a giant stack of money.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Permira has agreed to buy Squarespace for $6.6 billion in cash, in a deal that will take the website and brand builder off the public market three years after its New York Stock Exchange debut.

Why it matters: Private equity firms are sitting on a lot of cash, and starting to use it more and more.

Zoom in: Permira will pay $44 per share for the company, a 29% premium over the company's 90-day weighted average.

  • Permira is funding the acquisition through the private credit market.
  • Blackstone, Blue Owl and Ares are lead arrangers of the debt financing.

Context: When shares began trading in May 2021, the stock opened at around $50, so the company's shares have basically been flat ever since.

Zoom out: The company's founder and CEO Anthony Casalena will remain CEO and roll over "a substantial majority" of his stake in the business into the newly private entity after it closes, the company said.

  • Squarespace just got some new competition in the sector from newsletter platform Beehiiv, which has launched its own website builder.

JP Morgan and Skadden Arps advised Squarespace.

  • Centerview Partners and Richards, Layton & Finger advised the company's special committee.
  • Goldman Sachs and Latham & Watkins advised Permira. Wilson Sonsini served as legal counsel to Casalena.
  • Paul, Weiss advised Squarespace investor General Atlantic, and Cooley advised fellow investor Accel.
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