Blackstone—with a minority share investment from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority—announced this week it has entered into an agreement to acquire the meetings, events and hospitality platform Cvent for $4.6B.
Vista Equity Partners, a majority stockholder of Cvent, announced it will invest a portion of the proceeds from the sale as “non-convertible preferred stock in financing for the transaction,” the company said in a statement.
Cvent stockholders will get $8.50 per share in cash under the terms of the agreement. According to the company’s last year-end report, Cvent has about 22,000 clients internationally in hospitality, corporate, nonprofit and higher education sectors.
The platform lists more than 302,000 hotels and venues on its Cvent Supplier Network, which enables users to search available venues and negotiate contracts for event space with hotels and other venues. Cvent has helped manage more than 5M events, according to its website.
“As one of the world’s largest private equity firms, Blackstone brings deep expertise in the event and hospitality industry, and with their backing, we plan to continue to invest in our business and deliver the innovative solutions that power the meetings and events ecosystem,” Reggie Aggarwal, CEO of Cvent, who founded the company in 1999 in Tysons, VA, said in a statement.
The hotel industry is projected to surpass pre-pandemic levels of demand, nominal room revenue and state and local tax revenue in 2023, while inching closer to other key 2019 performance metrics, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s 2023 State of the Hotel Industry Report.
Operational challenges, including staffing shortages, will be the primary concern of hoteliers this year, AHLA said. The trade group projects that average hotel occupancy will reach close to 64% in 2023, approaching the pre-pandemic level of 65.9% in 2019.
In 2023, nominal room revenue is projected to reach new heights–$197B, compared to $170B. These number are not adjusted for inflation, the AHLA report notes, and real revenue recovery will likely take several more years; the trade group emphasizes that trends are positive.
The room-night demand is projected to surpass pre-pandemic levels in 2023, reaching 1.3B occupied room nights, a tick higher than the 1.29B notched in 2019. Hotels are expected to generate $47B in state and local tax revenue in 2023, up from $41B in 2019.
Staffing is expected to remain a significant challenge for US hotels in 2023, with hotels projected to employ 2.09 million people this year, down from 2.35 million in 2019.
Inflation for a number of hospitality-related products will continue to run 5% to upwards of 10% for the next few quarters, according to AHLA Platinum Partner Avendra.