Cvent, the Tysons Corner software company offering event-management services, is being purchased for $1.65 billion, the company announced Monday.
The all-cash acquisition by Vista Equity Partners, an Austin-based private-equity firm that specializes in technology firms, would turn Cvent into a privately held company.
Vista agreed to pay $36 for each share of Cvent, a 69 percent premium on Friday’s closing price of $21.30.
“Let me tell you, it’s hard to turn down when someone pays you a premium like that,” said Reggie Aggarwal, 46, founder and chief executive of Cvent. “At the end of the day, you want to get maximum shareholder value.”
The company’s headquarters will remain in Northern Virginia, where about 700 of its 1,900 employees work. Others are spread among eight offices in the United States, Canada, India and Britain.
Aggarwal founded Cvent during the go-go days of the dot-com boom in 1999. The company grew quickly, from six employees to 125 in a matter of months.
But when the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s, the outlook soured. Aggarwal was facing bankruptcy and had to lay off 80 percent of his staff. In the years that followed, Cvent built itself back up into a multimillion-dollar firm with big-name customers including Walmart, Verizon and Marriott International. Cvent went public in August 2013 and last year posted $187.7 million in revenue.
“This isn’t a company we created five or six years ago and flipped,” Aggarwal said. “We really grinded it out. It was tough, and there were many highs and lows.”
Aggarwal said the company recently received an unsolicited buyout offer from a large software company. A number of other firms followed suit, but Vista — which last month purchased software firm Solera Holdings for $6.5 billion — had the highest bid.
Cvent is “positioned for expansion in a large and underpenetrated market,” Brian Sheth, co-founder and president of Vista, said in a statement. “We are excited to work with the Cvent team to lead the business into this next phase.”
Vista also owns Lanyon, one of Cvent’s competitors. Aggarwal would not comment on how — or if — the two companies would work together, but analysts said they could foresee Vista combining the two.
“You can see how this company might reemerge as a much bigger, much stronger, much broader platform than even Cvent ever was,” said Brendan Barnicle, who heads the enterprise software practice at Pacific Crest Securities.
Barnicle added that the deal could usher in a new wave of mergers and acquisitions among software companies, which have largely stood pat following SAP’s $8.3 billion purchase of Concur Technologies in September 2014.
On Monday, shares of Cvent rose more than 65 percent to close at $35.23.
The deal, which was unanimously favored by Cvent’s board, is awaiting approval from regulators and shareholders. It is slated to be completed in the third quarter of this year.
“This deal is important because of what it says to other businesses in Northern Virginia,” said Gerald L. Gordon, president and chief executive of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. “It’s clear now that the workforce in Tysons Corner is absolutely world-class.”
Over the years, Aggarwal — a Northern Virginia native who graduated from Edison High School in Alexandria — has wooed a number of high-profile local investors, including former AOL chairman Steve Case, MicroStrategy co-founder Sanju K. Bansal, the Carlyle Group’s Edward Mathias and Atlantic Media Chairman David Bradley.
“Reggie Aggarwal went through some difficult times to build that company into what it is,” Gordon said. “Everybody has known Reggie for years. Local boy makes good.”