XO Group Inc. (NYSE :XOXO ), the operator of The Knot, a leading digital marketplace connecting engaged couples with wedding professionals, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement whereby XO Group will become a privately held company and merge with WeddingWire, Inc. in a transaction 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.