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Someone taking a photo of Cloudera signage when the company went public at the New York Stock Exchange in 2017. Photo by Bloomberg

Requiem for Cloudera and What It Means for Confluent IPO

Photo: Someone taking a photo of Cloudera signage when the company went public at the New York Stock Exchange in 2017. Photo by Bloomberg

Next time you feel the urge to buy stock of a fast-growing enterprise software company, remember Cloudera. Private equity firms KKR and Clayton Dubilier & Rice today unveiled a deal to buy the enterprise software company for $16 a share, $1 more than where Cloudera went public in 2017. Still, the offer price is a darn sight better than the $10-$12 level where Cloudera has lately been trading for the second half of last year.

The acquisition means that in two and a half years, the two public companies built on Hadoop open-source software have disappeared (a third Hadoop-based company, MapR, was absorbed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise). Also disappearing was their growth. Hortonworks went public in 2014, right before its annual topline growth slowed from 165% to 41% by 2017. Cloudera went public in 2017, as its growth rate was showing a similar trajectory. At the end of 2018 the two companies agreed to merge. At that point, the two companies together had a combined equity value of $5.2 billion. KKR said today’s acquisition of Cloudera is worth $5.3 billion.

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