UPDATED 22:26 EST / APRIL 18 2022


Zendesk reportedly hires advisory firm to explore potential sale

Customer service and sales software provider Zendesk Inc. has reportedly hired an advisory firm to explore a potential sale, some two months after rejecting a private equity takeover.

Bloomberg, referencing people familiar with the matter, today reported that Zendesk has hired Qatalyst Partners to explore sales opportunities. The company is said to have already reached out to potential buyers, including software companies and private equity firms. A final decision has not been made to sell and Zendesk could still opt to remain independent.

Zendesk declined to comment on the report.

The move by Zendesk to shop itself for a potential sale comes after the company failed in an attempt to acquire Momentive Global Inc., the company behind SurveyMonkey, for $4.1 billion. The deal, announced in October, collapsed February after Zendesk shareholders rejected the deal.

Zendesk is also facing issues from activist investors JANA Partners LLC. Following the SurveyMonkey deal falling over, JANA Partners said that the board was out of touch and claimed that the rejection of the deal was the lowest level of support by any disclosed deal-related shareholder vote in the last 20 years and possibly ever. Whether correct or not, a vote of 9% for the deal was remarkably low.

“We believe Zendesk requires either significant board change, or in the absence of such change, should be sold.” JANA Partners wrote at the time. “With the Momentive chapter finally in the rearview mirror, we look forward to making the case for shareholders to vote the WHITE proxy card at the Zendesk 2022 annual meeting.”

The rejected private equity takeover bid valued Zendesk at $127 to $132 per share. Although the potential buyers were not disclosed, a consortium including Hellman & Friedman, Advent International Corp. and Permira are believed to have been behind the proposed takeover.

Zendesk shares closed regular trading today at $121.69 before heading to $130.91 after the bell as the report that the company was shopping itself became known.

Exactly what price Zendesk might want from a potential buyer is not clear, but over the last year, its shares have traded as high as $155.62. Clearly, Zendesk will chase a higher figure than the rejected private equity takeover offer.

Photo: Scott Beale/Flickr

A message from John Furrier, co-founder of SiliconANGLE:

Show your support for our mission by joining our Cube Club and Cube Event Community of experts. Join the community that includes Amazon Web Services and Amazon.com CEO Andy Jassy, Dell Technologies founder and CEO Michael Dell, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger and many more luminaries and experts.

Join Our Community 

Click here to join the free and open Startup Showcase event.

“TheCUBE is part of re:Invent, you know, you guys really are a part of the event and we really appreciate your coming here and I know people appreciate the content you create as well” – Andy Jassy

We really want to hear from you, and we’re looking forward to seeing you at the event and in theCUBE Club.

Click here to join the free and open Startup Showcase event.