The software market welcomed a go-private buyout of Cvent (CVT) Monday morning, as it underscored the possibility that a host of other players could follow the event management technology provider into acquisitive hands.
Cvent announced Monday that it has agreed to be acquired by private equity shop Vista Equity Partners for $1.65 billion, or $36 per share in cash. The price tag represents about a 69% premium to the software maker's closing price on Friday.
Shares of Cvent rallied over 65.6% to $35.28 a piece Monday morning on the news, giving the company a $1.48 billion market capitalization.
Despite the sizable premium, the $36-per-share offer is a fair price for Cvent, said Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. analyst Tom Roderick via phone.
"I don't look at it and say it's an expensive deal," he said, adding that the proposal represents a reasonable multiple of about 5.4 times the target's 2017 revenue estimates.
The go-private acquisition ends a relative dormant deal-making period for cloud-based software makers.
While the Cvent purchase may not in itself serve as a major catalyst for deals, it is a reminder of what software-as-a-service players bring to the table, Roderick added. It also highlights the fact that the sector has plenty of potential takeout targets, he said, citing Marketo (MKTO) , Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD) , SPS Commerce (SPSC) , ChannelAdvisor (ECOM) , Workiva (WK) , Qlik Technologies (QLIK) and Tangoe (TNGO) .
Roderick noted that Qlik and Tangoe may find themselves under pressure to sell, having caught the attention, respectively, of activist investors Elliott Management and Vector Capital, Clearlake Capital and Marlin Management.
The analyst added that buyers are likely to gravitate to players with more than $2 billion in recurring revenues and enterprise exposure.
The sector has been relatively dormant after a rush of acquisitions by Oracle (ORCL) , IBM (IBM) and SAP (SAP) in the early 2010s, as the strategic buyers digested their purchases. And despite buyout speculation surrounding Salesforce.com (CRM) , the talk led to a standoff among strategic buyers, Roderick explained. And one in particular, SAP, is trying to pay down debt.
Yet these buyers could make a return to the deal landscape in the second half of the year, he said.
Meanwhile, winners and losers in the sector are starting to distinguish themselves more clearly.
Companies with Fortune 1000 customers, recurring revenue of 80% to 90% and profitability are among the former, Roderick said, pointing to Veeva Systems (VEEV) and Blackbaud (BLKB) as particularly well-positioned to benefit from the winnowing process.
On the flip side, players such as Nuance Communications (NUAN) have been challenged by bigger, more disruptive players.