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.