Vista Equity Partners, a global investment firm, has bought KnowBe4 Inc., a security awareness training and simulated phishing services company, in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $4.6 billion on an equity value basis.

KnowBe4 stockholders will receive $24.90 per share upon completion of the transaction. The per-share purchase price represents a 44 percent premium to the company’s unaffected closing price on September 16, 2022, the last full trading day before Vista announced its acquisition proposal. An independent Special Committee of KnowBe4’s board of directors was formed to review this proposal.

“This acquisition by Vista represents the next phase of our journey,” says Stu Sjouwerman, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of KnowBe4. “KnowBe4 has a strong record of performance, as evidenced by our market-leading platform and global customer base. Under Vista’s ownership, we will have access to additional resources and support, which will help us achieve our goals and deliver enhanced value to our customers.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is serving as financial advisor to the special committee, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC is serving as KnowBe4’s legal advisor and Potter Anderson & Corroon is serving as the special committee’s legal advisor. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal counsel and Guggenheim Securities LLC is serving as financial advisor for Vista.