Business software giant SAP is to sell shares in its Qualtrics experience management business on the public market in the USA - but will remain its largest shareholder.
Qualtrics; brands include solutions for what it calls the 'four core experience' in business: contact center customer needs forecast CustomerXM; employee engagement trend tracker EmployeeXM; ProductXM, which gives product managers the ability to test market 'fit' on new products; and brand messaging checker BrandXM. The firm was
The firm began talking about an IPO in 2016, 'though it continued to raise very substantial sums in private capital. In October 2018, just weeks after competitor SurveyMonkey had completed a $180m IPO, Qualtrics announced it was also set to go public, aiming to raise $200m and be listed under the Nasdaq symbol XM. Just three weeks later, however SAP had stepped in and bought it, the $8bn price mostly coming from EUR financing secured specifically for it and roughly matching SAP's biggest prior acquisition (travel and expense software company Concur, in 2014). Since then another competitor, Medallia, has also gone public to the tune of $326m.
The latest announcement comes after the departure last year of SAP Chief Exec Bill McDermott (now ServiceNow CEO). New CEO Christian Klein said in a statement that the acquisition has been successful and a share sale could SAP expand Qualtrics' overall market. No date has yet been set for the sale. The Qualtrics leadership team will remain in place, including founder Ryan Smith (pictured).
Mark Moerdler and Firoz Valliji of Bernstein Research, quoted on www.cnbc.com , opined: 'We believe that many SAP investors do not fully understand Qualtrics or its vision for the future and this would probably help at least as it relates to better understanding its value'.
All articles 2006-20 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.