Qualtrics to be taken private for $12.5B

Qualtrics to be taken private for $12.5B

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Confirming recent rumors, Qualtrics International Inc. today announced that it has agreed to be acquired by Silver Lake and CPP Investments for $12.5 billion.

The all-cash transaction values Qualtrics at $18.15 per share. That’s 73% higher than the last unaffected closing price of the company’s stock. The deal will be financed with equity funding from Silver Lake and CPP Investments, as well as $1 billion in debt. 

Silver Lake is a private equity firm focused on the technology sector. CPP Investments, also known as Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, is Canada’s largest pension fund. Reports that CPP Investments and Silver Lake may buy Qualtrics first emerged last week.

Nasdaq-listed Qualtrics sell software that enterprises use to collect feedback from employees and customers. The company has more than 18,000 customers worldwide, including over 90% of the Fortune 100.

Human resources teams use Qualtrics’ software to run employee surveys. A company could, for example, use the software to poll staffers about the effectiveness of a new employee training program. Qualtrics also provides automation features that make it easier to analyze the collected feedback. 

For product teams, Qualtrics offers a version of its platform that can collect input from current and potential customers. A software maker could use the platform to assess customer reactions to a new product idea before building a prototype. It also enables companies to collect user feedback on existing products.

Alongside its core feedback collection features, Qualtrics offers tools that help companies put the data they gather to use. One such tool, Predict iQ, can analyze data from customer polls to identify when a company’s users are at risk of leaving. For marketing departments, it provides the ability to test different versions of an ad and determine which variation resonates the most with users. 

“Qualtrics is becoming central to how businesses make mission critical customer and employee decisions that increase revenue and operational efficiency,” said Qualtrics Chief Executive Officer Zig Serafin (pictured). “With our AI-powered platform and automated actions, we help companies deliver exceptional experiences and build deep relationships with their customers and employees at scale.”

Silver Lake and CPP Investments are moving to buy Qualtrics following four years in which it experienced rapid growth. Qualtrics was acquired by SAP SE for $8 billion in early 2019. Since then, the company has more than tripled its revenue and grew its customer base from 10,000 organizations to about 18,000.

Along the way, SAP listed Qualtrics’ shares on the Nasdaq in a 2020 public offering. The enterprise software giant remains its largest shareholder with a 71% stake. This morning, SAP indicated that it will approve the buyout offer from Silver Lake and CPP Investments.

“Silver Lake has both the operational expertise and the track record with software companies to help Qualtrics extend its leadership in the XM category it pioneered,” said SAP Chief Executive Officer Christian Klein. “Since we acquired Qualtrics in 2019 the company has more than tripled its revenue while delivering profitability.”

Qualtrics’ sales grew 23% year-over-year, to $389.1 million, last quarter. It also posted $16 million in adjusted net income. The company is projecting revenue of about $1.66 billion for the current fiscal year.

Silver Lake and CPP Investments expect to close the acquisition in the second half of 2023. After the deal’s completion, Serafin will continue to lead the company. Qualtrics also said it will continue to partner with former parent company SAP on joint engineering and go-to-market initiatives. 

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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