US-based customer experience (CX) specialist Zendesk has agreed to be acquired by a group of investors, in an all-cash deal which values it at approximately $10.2 billion. The transaction has been approved by Zendesk's Board of Directors and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.
Zendesk helps clients take their customer service online, and offers a platform connecting brands with hundreds of millions of customers through media from chat, e-mail and social media to telephone and help centers. Earlier this year its shareholders rejected its proposed acquisition of Momentive, parent of SurveyMonkey, despite Momentive shareholders giving the deal majority support. Following the votes, Zendesk investor JANA Partners said the Board was 'out of touch' and should be significantly revamped, or the company sold.
A fortnight ago, Zendesk announced the completion of a strategic review and said it would not seek a sale but continue as an independent public company. Today, the company has confirmed it will be acquired by an investor group led by Hellman & Friedman and Perira, with participation from a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and GIC, after which it will become a privately held company. Under the terms of this agreement, Zendesk shareholders will receive $77.50 per share, a premium of approximately 34% over its closing stock price yesterday. However in February, the firm reportedly rejected a $16bn unsolicited acquisition offer from a consortium of unnamed private equity firms - at the time the Board said it believed the proposal 'significantly undervalued the company'.
Founder, Chairman and CEO Mikkel Svane (pictured) says the latest deal is the start of a new chapter for the company, 'with partners that are aligned with the strength of our agile products and talented team, and are committed to providing the resources and expertise to continue our growth trajectory'. He continues: 'With Hellman & Friedman and Permira's support, we'll continue to execute on our long-term strategy with our customers as our top priority, taking full advantage of the opportunity we see to help businesses navigate the ever-changing expectations and demands of their customers'.
Web site: www.zendesk.com .
All articles 2006-23 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.