SAP to Sell 423 Million Shares of XM Company Qualtrics


XM company Qualtrics has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Silver Lake and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) to become an independent, private company.

German software giant SAP has agreed to accept the $12.5 billion buyout offer from Silver Lake and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) for the experience management (XM) software pioneer Qualtrics. As the controlling shareholder, SAP agreed to sell its entire stake of 423 million shares of Qualtrics International Inc. at a purchase price of US$18.15 in cash per share.

“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 Christian Klein, CEO and Member of the Executive Board of SAP SE. “Since we acquired Qualtrics in 2019 the company has more than tripled its revenue while delivering profitability. SAP intends to remain a close go-to-market and technology partner, servicing joint customers and continuing to contribute to Qualtrics’s success. The number of companies and brands using Qualtrics software has risen from 10,000 at the time of SAP’s purchase to over 18,000 today,” Klein added.

Silver Lake and CPP Investments joint proposal was found to be the most attractive offer following a robust process of evaluation. Silver Lake, a Silicon Valley tech investment firm, has a portfolio consisting mostly of technology companies including videogame software developer Unity Software and Alphabet Inc’s self-driving technology firm Waymo.

Together with Toronto-headquartered global investment organization CPP Investments, Silver Lake and its co-investors have reached a transaction that corresponds to a Qualtrics equity value of approximately US$12.5 billion on a fully diluted basis. This represents a 73% premium over the 30-day average trading price prior to SAP’s announcement to explore a sale of its shares in Qualtrics early this year. The consortium will be acquiring SAP’s stake for approximately US$7.7 billion.

XM Company Qualtrics to Become Independent and Private 

In January, SAP announced its intention to evaluate potential buyer interest in its Qualtrics share — consistent with its plan from the time of Qualtrics’ IPO in 2021– alongside the announcement of its fourth-quarter earnings and global restructuring plans. Qualtrics officially traded under  the ticker symbol “XM” in February 2021, valuing Qualtrics at $27.3 billion and selling about 51.7 million shares as the day closed.  Silver Lake was one of the first companies that had committed to buy over 4% of Qualtrics’ stock for $550 million.

Fast forward to today, Silver Lake and CPP Investments, will acquire 100% of the outstanding shares Silver Lake does not already own, including SAP’s stake– allowing Qualtrics to become an independent, privately held company. The XM company’s Chief Executive Officer Zig Serafin will continue to take the helm in driving innovation in the XM space and the journey to “becoming the next great enterprise cloud software platform.”

“Qualtrics is becoming central to how businesses make mission critical customer and employee decisions that increase revenue and operational efficiency. 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,” commented Serafin. “We are incredibly excited to partner with the team at Silver Lake, who deeply understand our business and will help us continue to build a high performing company, invest in our innovation and expand our ecosystem to help our customers succeed.”

More About the Acquisition

Silver Lake and co-investors will fully finance the transaction through equity commitments along with $1.75 billion in equity from CPP Investments and $1 billion in debt. Qualtrics’ common stock will be delisted on any public market upon the transaction’s expected close in the second half of 2023. In addition, Qualtrics is expected to appear as a discontinued operation in the upcoming 2023 Q1 financial results of SAP due April 21.

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