The world’s largest wedding planning platform, WeddingWire said it has signed a definitive agreement whereby XO Group will become a privately held company and merge with WeddingWire, Inc.
The company said the transaction is valued at $933 million.
Under the terms of the agreement, XO Group shareholders will receive $35.00 per share in cash, representing a 44% premium to XO Group’s 12-month average closing price and a 27% premium to XO Group’s closing price as of Monday, September 24, 2018. XO Group’s Board of Directors has unanimously approved the transaction, which is expected to close in the first half of 2019. Upon closing, the combined company will be owned by the Permira Funds and Spectrum Equity, who are current investors in WeddingWire.
The combined company will maintain both brands, The Knot and WeddingWire, as separate consumer products so that couples can continue to enjoy both offerings, while delivering enhanced value to wedding professionals and partners across the globe. Following closing, XO Group CEO Mike Steib and WeddingWire CEO Tim Chi will serve as co-CEOs of the combined company.
“This is a proud day for XO, a tribute to the dedication of the amazing people at this company, a terrific outcome for our stockholders, and another positive step towards our mission of serving the couples and wedding pros we love,” said Mike Steib, XO Group CEO.
“Eleven years ago, we started WeddingWire with a deep commitment to help engaged couples plan the most important day of their lives,” said Tim Chi, co-founder and CEO, WeddingWire. “This is a tremendous opportunity to further our commitment by accelerating innovation and creating the best wedding planning experience – benefitting engaged couples, wedding professionals, our employees and the global wedding industry.”
Michael Zeisser, XO Group’s Chairman, commented, “After a thorough assessment, the XO Board has unanimously determined that this transaction is a compelling outcome for our employees, customers, and stockholders. For our stockholders, and in accordance with the board’s stated commitment to delivering shareholder value, it recognizes the worth of XO Group’s strong franchise and delivers compelling, all-cash consideration.”
The two companies have over 1,700 employees and serve engaged couples and wedding professionals in 15 countries across North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia through global wedding brands The Knot, WeddingWire, Bodas.net, Matrimonio.com, WeddingWire.in and more. As a unified company, it will be better positioned to provide consumer offerings focused on the highly competitive $250 billion global wedding industry across both of its primary brands, WeddingWire and The Knot. The companies will build upon their more than four decades of combined expertise to redefine the category and continue to transform both the consumer and vendor experiences for the better.
Together, engaged couples around the world will gain access to richer content, inspiration, registry services, and planning tools. Vendors, retailers, and national brands will benefit from enhanced advertising and marketing reach to the expansive global wedding audience, as well as industry-leading tools and analytics to help grow their businesses.