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Permira taps private credit market to help finance $6.9bn Squarespace take-private deal

Website-building platform Squarespace will be taken private by private equity firm Permira in a $6.9bn all-cash transaction, with Ares Capital, Blackstone and Blue Owl providing a $2.65bn private credit package to help finance the acquisition.

Under the terms of the deal, Permira has agreeing to purchase shares at $44 each, approximately 30% more than Squarespace’s unaffected share price.

Blackstone meanwhile, will hold half of the private credit package, which consists of $2.1bn term loan, a $300m delayed draw loan and a $250m revolving credit facility, with Blackstone and Ares and Blue Owl taking a quarter each.

Squarespace’s founder and CEO Anthony Casalena, along with current investors Accel and General Atlantic, who control 90% of Squarespace’s voting shares, have approved the transaction. They will remain investors following completion of the deal.

Squarespace has faced challenges in gaining support in the public market in recent years, with its shares opening below the reference price of $50 in 2021 and never trading above the opening price of $48.

The company’s shares increased by nearly 13% to $43 per share in pre-market trading.

Squarespace’s decision to go private follows the spin-off of Qualtrics from SAP in 2021, later going private again in 2023 with Canada’s pension plan and Silver Lake in a deal worth $12.5bn. Similarly, Japanese electronics multinational company Toshiba also went private in 2023 in a deal worth $13.6bn, following years of speculation including engagement with activist investor Elliott Investment Management.

Centerview, JP Morgan, Skadden and Richards, Layton & Finger advised Squarespace while Goldman Sachs and Latham & Watkins advised Permira.

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