Blackstone’s not the only PE firm betting on events

General Atlantic and EagleTree have also invested in event-services providers recently.

The events business is growing rapidly, fueled by technology and a resurgence in the hospitality industry after the pandemic-induced hiatus.

Private equity investments in providers of event technology and services are picking up. Here are three recent PE-backed deal announcements in the sector, starting with the biggest.

1. Blackstone to buy Cvent for $4.6bn

Last month, Blackstone said it will acquire Cvent Holding Corp, a meetings, events and hospitality technology provider based in Tysons Corner, Virginia, from Vista Equity Partners for $4.6 billion in a take-private deal.

“The continued events and travel recovery is one of Blackstone’s highest-conviction investment themes,” said David Schwartz, a senior managing director at Blackstone. “Given our extensive experience in the hospitality, events and real estate sectors, we believe Blackstone is well positioned as a growth partner for this exceptional business.”

The transaction is expected to close mid-year 2023, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

2. General Atlantic backs Tripleseat

General Atlantic earlier in April made a majority investment in Tripleseat, a Concord, Massachusetts-based event management software and integrated payments company for the hospitality industry.

“Events are an important and growing business for restaurants, hotels, and other venues,” said Paul Stamas, General Atlantic’s managing director and global head of financial services.

General Atlantic said it is looking forward to leveraging its decades of experience in software and payments to support Tripleseat’s continued expansion.

Existing shareholders Vista Equity Partners, Level Equity, and Enlightened Hospitality Investments will remain as minority investors in the business.

3. EagleTree buys PRA from CI Capital Partners

In March, New York-based EagleTree Capital acquired PRA, a Chicago-based company that offers end-to-end event planning, creative and production services across in-person and digital formats, from CI Capital Partners, headquartered in New York.

“PRA represents a great opportunity for EagleTree to leverage its experience investing in travel, trade shows and conferences and event services,” said Anup Bagaria, co-managing partner of EagleTree.

PRA completed nine add-on acquisitions and saw a nearly three-fold increase in its revenue and EBITDA during CI Capital’s investment period, which began in 2017.

As the events and travel businesses continue to recover, PE Hub expects to see more private equity investments in the industry.