Squarespace to go private in $6.9 billion takeover from Mashable

If you have Squarespace stock in your portfolio, it’s time to cash out — whether you want to or not.

On Monday, Squarespace announced it was acquired by Permira, a private equity firm based in the UK, in an all-cash deal valued at $6.9 billion. As a result of the acquisition, Permira will take the company private.

Squarespace is a popular website builder and hosting company founded in 2003 and went public on the stock market in 2021. According to BuiltWith, which provides comprehensive technology usage data for online platforms and websites, more than 3.3 million websites powered by Squarespace live on the internet. This ranks Squarespace as the second most popular website host service in the U.S., right behind Shopify. (Note: WordPress is not ranked on this list because many of the hundreds of millions of websites using the popular CMS are self-hosted and not using WordPress’ hosting service.)

According to the press release, Squarespace stockholders will receive $44 per share, which puts it at a “premium of 29% over the 90-day volume weighted average trading price of $34.09.”

Tech going private

Readers are likely used to tech companies going public over the years. This has long been a goal of many software companies, social media platforms, and other tech-related services. Reddit, for example, just recently went public earlier this year.

However, a new trend seems to be emerging in tech: Some are taking these companies in the opposite direction and going private.

For example, Elon Musk infamously overpaid for Twitter, now known as X, and took the company private in late 2022.

As TechCrunch points out, Permira has also been involved in other recent “take-private” deals, such as when it acquired Zendesk for $10.2 billion in 2022 along with San Francisco-based private equity firm Hellman & Friedman. In the past two months alone, private equity firm Thoma Bravo acquired the cybersecurity company Darktrace for $5 billion and the event management software company Everbridge for $1.8 billion and took both companies private.

As for where Squarespace is headed, Permira will keep its CEO and founder, Anthony Casalena, so users who create and host their websites with the company shouldn’t expect too much of a difference — at least in the near future.