Vista buys cybersecurity firm KnowBe4 in $4.6 bn deal

KnowBe4 Inc, a leading cybersecurity firm, on Wednesday agreed to go private in a sweetened $4.6 billion deal with Vista Equity Partners.
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The offer values each share of KnowBe4 at $24.90, compared with the $24 Vista had offered in September and 44 percent higher than the stock’s pre-bid close on Sept. 16.

KnowBe4’s stock had lost nearly a quarter of its value in 2022 before Vista’s proposal, even as the rise of hybrid work boosted demand for its platform that allows businesses to host security awareness training with simulated phishing attacks.

Vista’s bid is the latest in a string of large investments by the Austin, Texas-based fund this year, including its $16.5 billion acquisition of cloud services firm Citrix Systems in January.

The KnowBe4 deal, expected to close in the first half of 2023, will be financed through a mix of debt and equity financing. It was unanimously approved by a special committee set up by KnowBe4 to review the proposal.