Will Mindbody leave SLO, lay off workers after buyout? CEO sends email to staff

Soon after news broke that Mindbody — one of the largest tech employers in the county — was being sold to a San Francisco-based private equity firm, Vista Equity Partners, on Monday, one question was heard above all others:

Does this mean Mindbody will leave San Luis Obispo?

A Mindbody representative declined to comment on the question Monday, citing U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules that require tight lips during this stage of the deal. (The SEC regulates public companies like Mindbody.)

But in its SEC filings on Wednesday, an attached email to staff seemed to have the answer: no.

“We expect that Mindbody headquarters will remain in SLO,” the email said.

The email, which was sent out to Mindbody staff by CEO Rick Stollmeyer on Monday at the same time as the announcement of the $1.9 billion acquisition, included a special employee FAQ detailing some of the aspects of the proposed merger.

The email additionally said that no layoffs are expected as a result of the deal.

“You are at the heart of our purpose as a company,” the email said. “This is an amazing opportunity for us and we want everyone to have a part in our future.

“While Vista is acquiring Mindbody because of the strength of our products and services, our customer base and the strength of the market opportunity — they know that the only durable asset of a software company is its people (you), and they’re looking forward to working with the entire Mindbody team. There are no layoffs planned.”

Vista has also agreed to not decrease employee salaries or bonuses for at least a year following the purchase, according to the email. It will also “maintain Mindbody benefit plans or provide substantially comparable plans,” throughout that same time period, the email said.

In the email, Stollmeyer said the acquisition was the “best option for shareholders, and a fantastic option to foster value for you and long-term growth for Mindbody.”

“I had the opportunity to meet Vista’s founder, chairman and CEO, Robert Smith, and hear him speak recently,” Stollmeyer wrote. “I came away deeply impressed by the intelligence, sense of purpose and humility of this extraordinarily successful man. His values permeate Vista Equity Partners, and he inspires me.”

Stollmeyer concluded the email by thanking staff for their hard work.

“It is through your dedication, passion, hard work and incredible talent that we have arrived at this pivotal moment,” he wrote. “Together, we have built a company, products, services and mission that is unrivaled.

“With Vista, I’m confident we’ll build upon our successes and accelerate on our path toward helping people everywhere lead healthier, happier lives. Our future is bright and I look forward to continuing on this journey with you.”

Per its contract, Mindbody has 30 days to shop around for other acquisition proposals. If none are accepted, then the deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019.

Tribune reporter Gabby Ferreira contributed to this story.
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Kaytlyn Leslie writes about business and development for The San Luis Obispo Tribune. Hailing from Nipomo, she also covers city governments and happenings in the South County region, including Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach and Grover Beach. She joined The Tribune in 2013 after graduating from Cal Poly with her journalism degree.