SaaS giant Zendesk being taken private in $10.2 bn deal
Zendesk, Inc. announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an investor group led by leading global investment firms Permira and Hellman & Friedman LLC (“H&F”) in an all-cash transaction that values Zendesk at approximately $10.2 billion. Under the terms of this agreement, Zendesk shareholders will receive $77.50 per share. The offer represents a premium of approximately 34% over Zendesk’s closing stock price on June 23, 2022, the last full trading day prior to this announcement.
“This is the start of a new chapter for Zendesk 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,” said Mikkel Svane, founder, chairman and CEO, Zendesk. “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.”
“The Board conducted an extensive strategic review over a three month period, receiving an actionable offer from Hellman & Friedman and Permira after the termination of our formal process,” said Carl Bass, lead independent director, Zendesk. “This transaction provides certainty of value for our shareholders at a significant premium to Zendesk’s trading price. The extensive strategic review process included the evaluation of both standalone and transactional alternatives and considered a range of factors including current and anticipated market conditions, business momentum and long-term outlook. During this period, we also worked constructively with major shareholders. The Board concluded that this transaction was the best alternative and the Board voted unanimously to support this transaction.”
“Zendesk has reimagined customer service software and empowers businesses to transform how they communicate with their customers in an increasingly digital world. We believe Zendesk is uniquely positioned to enable meaningful interactions and deliver compelling business outcomes across any channel,” said Ryan Lanpher, Partner at Permira. “We look forward to partnering with Zendesk’s management team and talented employees to help them accelerate product innovation and achieve their growth ambitions,” added Brian Ruder, Partner and Co-Head of Technology at Permira.
“Over the past 15 years, Zendesk has revolutionized how companies serve their customers and has become a leading platform within the customer experience ecosystem. We deeply believe in the company’s growth opportunity as it continues to help businesses across the world delight their customers,” said Tarim Wasim, Partner at Hellman & Friedman. “We see tremendous value in Zendesk’s platform and ability to grow at scale. Its intuitive yet powerful offering serves over 100,000 companies, ranging from the smallest businesses to the largest enterprises,” added Stephen Ensley, Partner at Hellman & Friedman.
In addition to Hellman & Friedman and Permira, the investor group includes a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), and GIC.
The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by Zendesk’s Board of Directors, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year and is subject to customary closing conditions, including Zendesk stockholder approval. Hellman & Friedman and Permira have arranged for debt and equity financing commitments for the purpose of financing the transaction. Upon closing of the transaction, Zendesk will operate as a privately-held company.
Qatalyst Partners and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC are serving as financial advisors to Zendesk in connection with the proposed transaction. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is serving as Zendesk’s legal advisor.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is serving as financial advisor to the investor group. Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP is serving as M&A counsel to the investor group and to Permira. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as financing counsel to the investor group. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as counsel to Hellman & Friedman.
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