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Private equity firm makes offer for Clearwater cybersecurity company

Vista Equity Partners says it will pay a 39% premium on all outstanding shares of KnowBe4 Inc.

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  • | 10:19 a.m. September 19, 2022
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KnowBe4 Inc. Founder and CEO Stu Sjouwerman. (Courtesy photo)
KnowBe4 Inc. Founder and CEO Stu Sjouwerman. (Courtesy photo)
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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KnowBe4 Inc., a prominent Clearwater cybersecurity company, has received a nonbinding acquisition offer from Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm headquartered in Austin, Texas.

According to a news release, Vista has offered to acquire all outstanding KnowBe4 (NASDAQ: KNBE) shares for $24 per share in cash —  a 39% premium on the stock’s Sept. 16 closing price. In response to the proposal, KnowBe4’s board has formed a special committee made up of independent directors to review the deal and engage in discussions with Vista, with the assistance of independent financial and legal advisors.

KnowBe4 says in the release that its board regularly considers opportunities to enhance the value of the company for its stockholders, though there is no guarantee the Vista offer will be accepted. The company says it won’t comment further until the special committee has concluded its review of the proposal.

Founded by IT and data security specialist Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4 is a leading provider of services that combat phishing, ransomware, malware, CEO fraud and other cyberattacks. Its platform, the release states, is used by more than 52,000 organizations around the globe.

KnowBe4 reported $246.3 million in gross revenue in 2021, up from $174.3 million in 2020, an increase of nearly 41%.


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