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Kirkland, Ropes & Gray take lead on Cvent event tech SPAC union

4 minute read

Signage is seen outside of the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Washington, D.C., August 30, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

  • Kirkland continues relationship with Vista Equity Partners, Cvent
  • Ropes & Gray advises another Dragoneer SPAC
  • Davis Polk advising placement agents

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(Reuters) - Event management technology company Cvent and its owners have tapped Kirkland & Ellis for its $5.3 billion deal to return to the public exchanges through a merger with a blank check company represented by Ropes & Gray.

Cvent and Dragoneer Growth Opportunities Corp. II’s combination, announced Friday, comes as many cities have rolled back coronavirus restrictions, like mask wearing and capacity limits, for events.

Both Tysons Corner, Virginia-based Cvent and its owner, private equity investor Vista Equity Partners, turned to Kirkland for advice on the merger.

Kirkland corporate partners Richard Campbell and Brian Wolfe and capital markets partner Robert Goedert are leading on the deal.

The firm’s work on the transaction is a full circle moment in its relationship with the companies.

Kirkland previously advised Vista Equity Partners on its roughly $1.65 billion take-private acquisition of Cvent in 2016, which resulted in Cvent delisting from the New York Stock Exchange, according to a firm press release. Corporate partners Daniel Wolf, Stuart Casillas and Matthew Goulding participated in that deal.

The firm has worked with Vista Equity Partners on many investments and M&A deals, including the private equity investor and Blackstone Group Inc’s acquisition of higher education technology business Ellucian Co LP, announced last month.

Special purpose acquisition company Dragoneer has also tapped a familiar firm for the merger. Ropes & Gray is advising the company after putting together its November initial public offering, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Paul Tropp, the co-head of Ropes & Gray’s capital markets practice, and partner Christopher Capuzzi, worked on the SPAC’s IPO as well as the offerings for SPACs Dragoneer Growth Opportunities Corp and Dragoneer Growth Opportunities Corp III.

SPACs, or blank check companies, raise funds through IPOs to merge with a privately held company and take it public.

Ropes & Gray also advised Dragoneer Growth Opportunities Corp on its merger with CCC Information Services Inc, a software maker for the property and casualty insurance industry, according to a February press release from the companies.

The Dragoneer SPAC merger announced on Friday is expected to wrap up in 2021’s fourth quarter, after which the combined company will take the name Cvent Holding Corp and trade under the ticker symbol “CVT,” according to the press release.

Cvent’s financial adviser is Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, and Dragoneer’s capital markets adviser is Citi.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, J.P. Morgan and Citi are all acting as placement agents for a private investment in public equity associated with the merger.

The Davis Polk & Wardwell team advising the placement agents includes capital markets partner Richard Truesdell Jr.

Cvent’s software helps users plan and market their in-person, virtual and hybrid events by automating tasks such as finding a venue and planning seating, according to the company’s website.

Read more: Tech firm Cvent to go public in $5.3 billion blank-check deal IN BRIEF: Quartet guides Blackstone, Vista Equity’s edtech purchase

Sierra Jackson reports on legal matters in major mergers and acquisitions, including deal work, litigation and regulatory changes. Reach her at sierra.jackson@thomsonreuters.com

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