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Vista Equity Partners Agrees to Buy Software Maker Pluralsight

Pluralsight is a cloud based online-education platform for software developers that sells to both businesses and individuals.



Photo:

Dustin Chambers for The Wall Street Journal

Private-equity firm Vista Equity Partners agreed to buy educational-software maker

Pluralsight Inc.


PS 6.38%

The deal values Pluralsight at $20.26 a share, or $3.5 billion including debt, the companies said in a statement confirming an earlier report by The Wall Street Journal.

Farmington, Utah-based Pluralsight is a cloud based online-education platform for software developers that sells to both businesses and individuals.

Private-equity firms like Vista were already focused on business-software providers, with their recurring-revenue models, before the pandemic increased interest in companies whose offerings make it easier to reach employees and students remotely.

In March, Vista rival Thoma Bravo LP took education-software company Instructure Inc. private in a roughly $2 billion deal.

Based in Austin, Texas, Vista is a pioneer in software investing and manages more than $73 billion in assets across multiple strategies. A deal for Pluralsight would be the latest evidence that the firm is plowing ahead after Chief Executive

Robert Smith

admitted to criminal tax evasion in October and agreed to pay $139 million as part of a nonprosecution agreement.

Brian Sheth,

Vista’s co-founder, president and lead deal-maker, left the firm in the wake of the settlement last month.

On Nov. 30, Vista said it was taking a majority stake in customer-relations-software company Gainsight Inc. in a deal that values the company at $1.1 billion. Earlier that month, it announced a majority investment in Pipedrive, another maker of customer-relations-management software, valuing it at $1.5 billion.

Qatalyst Partners is advising Pluralsight and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is legal counsel. For Vista,

Morgan Stanley

is financial adviser, with Kirkland & Ellis LLP serving as legal counsel.

Write to Cara Lombardo at [email protected] and Miriam Gottfried at [email protected]

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the December 14, 2020, print edition as ‘Vista Equity to Buy Software Company.’

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