WeddingWire investors to buy event planner XO in $933 million deal: Reuters

Event planning company XO Group Inc (XOXO.N) said on Tuesday two private equity funds would take the company private in a $933 million deal and merge it with wedding planning group WeddingWire Inc.

WeddingWire investors Permira Funds and Spectrum Equity will pay $35.00 per share in cash to XO shareholders, a 27 percent premium to the stock’s Monday close. XO shares jumped 26 percent to $34.78 in morning trading.

XO Group Chief Executive Officer Mike Steib and his WeddingWire counterpart, Tim Chi, will become co-CEOs of the merged group, which will maintain XO’s The Knot and WeddingWire as separate brands.

The combined entity will have 1,700 employees, with operations in 15 countries.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2019 and mark the end of XO’s 19-year run as a public company.

Allen & Co LLC is XO’s financial adviser, while J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is advising WeddingWire. RBC Capital Markets is financial adviser to Permira Funds.