Global investment firm Vista Equity Partners has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire publicly-traded technology workforce development company Pluralsight for $3.5 billion.
Under the terms of the agreement, Vista, in partnership with its institutional co-investors including Partners Group, will acquire all outstanding shares of Pluralsight common stock for $20.26 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $3.5 billion. According to a statement, the purchase price represents a 25% premium above the average closing value of Pluralsight’s stock for the 30 trading days prior to the announcement of the acquisition.
Founded in 2004, Pluralsight provides technology workforce development solutions, helping companies and teams build better products by developing critical skills, improving processes and gaining insights through data, and providing strategic skills consulting. The Utah-based company offers two flagship products – Pluralsight Skills and Pluralsight Flow – which are used by more than 17,000 customers, including 70% of Fortune 500 companies.
While Pluralsight Skills helps enterprises build technology skills at scale with expert-authored courses on today’s most important technologies, including cloud, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, and security among others, the company’s second offering, Pluralsight Flow complements Skills by providing engineering teams with actionable data and visibility into workforce patterns to accelerate the delivery of products and services.
Commenting on the development, Monti Saroya, Co-head of the Vista Flagship Fund and Senior Managing Director at Vista Equity Partners, said in a statement,
“We have seen firsthand that the demand for skilled software engineers continues to outstrip supply, and we expect this trend to persist as we move into a hybrid online-offline world across all industries and interactions, with business leaders recognizing that technological innovation is critical to business success. Through its platform, Pluralsight enables these leaders to improve productivity and provide career path opportunities across their IT workforces.”
Vista Equity Partners, led by billionaire Robert Smith, has over $73 billion in assets under management, and specializes in investing in enterprise software, data and technology companies. The private equity firm currently owns other large education technology companies, including PowerSchool, a widely used student information system in the US K-12 market, and EAB, an enrolment service provider used mostly by higher education institutions.
Expressing his excitement over the partnership and how it will help the company grow more quickly, Aaron Skonnard, Co-founder and CEO, Pluralsight, said in a statement,
“Through this partnership with Vista, we will be able to move faster and be more agile, accelerate our strategic vision and, ultimately, deliver deeper, more powerful solutions that help companies adapt and thrive in the digital age. We are relentlessly focussed on helping enterprises improve and optimize their technology workforce and providing the most effective path to skills transformation for their technology teams. The global Vista ecosystem of leading enterprise software companies provides significant resources and institutional knowledge that will open doors and help fuel our growth. We’re thrilled that we will be able to leverage Vista’s expertise to further strengthen our market leading position.”
According to a statement, the transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by Pluralsight shareholders and receipt of regulatory approvals. Upon completion of the transaction, Pluralsight will become a privately-held company and shares of the company’s common stock will no longer be listed on any public market, the statement added.