Qualtrics receives $12.4B buyout offer backed by Silver Lake

Qualtrics receives $12.4B buyout offer backed by Silver Lake

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Silver Lake and Canada’s largest pension fund have made a takeover offer for Qualtrics International Inc. that values the company at $12.4 billion.

Qualtrics disclosed the bid in a regulatory filing this morning. The $12.4 billion that Silver Lake and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, or CPPIB, are offering amounts to $18.15 per share. That’s a 73% premium over the last closing price of Qualtrics’ stock before word emerged the company is for sale. 

Qualtrics, led by Chief Executive Officer Zig Serafin (pictured), sells tools that enterprises use to collect feedback from customers and employees. A company’s human resources department can use Qualtrics’ software to measure employee sentiment. Sales and marketing teams, in turn, rely on the software to understand customer buying preferences.

Qualtrics provides its core feedback collection features alongside analytics tools that help companies interpret the information they collect. Qualtrics’ software automatically summarizes survey responses to ease analysis. Additionally, it provides a tool that can estimate whether a business change under consideration would positively impact customer sentiment.

Qualtrics filed for an initial public offering in 2018, but scrapped the plan at the last minute to accept a $8 billion buyout offer from SAP SE. Three years later, SAP took the shelved IPO plan out of the drawer and listed the company on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Qualtrics raised more than $1.5 billion in its January 2021 stock market listing by selling 50.4 million shares.

SAP currently holds a 71% stake in Qualtrics. On January 26, after a first quarter earnings report that fell short of expectations, SAP announced plans to sell its Qualtrics stake. A few weeks later, Silver Lake and CPPIB submitted the $12.4 billion buyout offer that Qualtrics disclosed today.

The offer is reportedly one of three that the company has received so far. The two other prospective buyers haven’t been named. 

Qualtrics will hold exclusive acquisition talks with Silver Lake and CPPIB until March 15. Silver Lake already maintains a 4.1% stake in the software maker. If the $12.4 billion offer is accepted, the deal would reportedly mark one of the largest acquisitions of a publicly held company this year.

The announcement of the acquisition talks comes a few weeks after Qualtrics reported fourth quarter earnings. The company’s revenue grew 23% year-over-year, to $389.1 million, while the $39.4 billion adjusted net loss it posted 12 months earlier turned into a $16 million adjusted net income. Qualtrics expects to generate about $1.66 billion in revenue this year, up from $1.45 billion in 2022.

Qualtrics disclosed early last year that it has more than 16,750 customers worldwide. Those customers include over 90% of the Fortune 100. In January, the month SAP announced plans to sell its stake, Qualtrics estimated that its total addressable market is worth $60 billion.

Silver Lake is no stranger to big-ticket transactions involving enterprise technology companies. In 2013, it helped Dell Technologies Inc. founder and Chief Executive Officer Michael Dell take the hardware giant private. Silver Lake purchased ServiceMax Inc. a few years later and sold the software provider to PTC Inc. last November for $1.46 billion.

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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