M&A SaaS

Zendesk Goes Private In $10.2B Deal Months After Turning Down Larger Offer

Illustration of $100 bills.

Just months after turning down a $17 billion deal to be bought by a consortium of private equity firms, Zendesk has agreed to a $10.2 billion deal to go private.

Led by Hellman & Friedman and Permira, the deal values the software company at $77.50 a share—a 34% premium to Zendesk’s closing price on Thursday.

The deal ends months of what seemed like a never-ending soap opera between the San Francisco-based customer relations SaaS company and its investors.

In October, Zendesk announced it would acquire Momentive Global—which includes SurveyMonkey—in a $4.13 billion deal to move further into the “customer experience” market.

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However, investors had other other ideas. In February, The deal was nixed. The Wall Street Journal reported investors, especially Jana Partners and the Janus Henderson mutual fund, were unhappy with the deal and the direction it would take the company.

It also was at that time Zendesk shot down the first proposed deal by a consortium of private equity firms to take the company private at a value of $127 to $132 a share. The Wall Street Journal group included Hellman & Friedman, Advent International and Permira.

Now, just four months later, the company has agreed to sell for a significant haircut from that earlier deal.

Sometimes he who hesitates is not just lost—but also loses a lot of cash.

A look back

Zendesk was founded in 2007 in Copenhagen. The company’s SaaS customer service platform serves to drive better customer relationships. Zendesk moved first to Boston and then San Francisco in 2009 and became a darling of venture capital at the time.

The company raised more than $85 million from the likes of Benchmark, CRV, Redpoint and Matrix Partners. It went public in 2014, raising $100 million in its IPO and valuing the company at $1.7 billion.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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