Zendesk 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.
Zendesk started the customer experience revolution in 2007 by enabling any business around the world to take their customer service online. Today, Zendesk is the champion of great service everywhere for everyone, and powers billions of conversations, connecting more than 100,000 brands with hundreds of millions of customers over telephony, chat, email, messaging, social channels, communities, review sites and help centres. Zendesk products are built with love to be loved. The company was conceived in Copenhagen, Denmark, built and grown in California, taken public in New York City, and today employs more than 6,000 people across the world.
Learn more at www.zendesk.com.
About Hellman & Friedman
Hellman & Friedman is a preeminent global private equity firm with a distinctive investment approach focused on a limited number of large-scale equity investments in high quality growth businesses. H&F seeks to partner with world-class management teams where its deep sector expertise, long-term orientation and collaborative partnership approach enable companies to flourish. H&F targets outstanding businesses in select sectors including software & technology, financial services, healthcare, consumer & retail, and other business services.
Since its founding in 1984, H&F has invested in over 100 companies. The firm is currently investing its tenth fund, with $24.4 billion of committed capital, and has over $85 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2022.
Learn more about H&F’s defining investment philosophy and approach to sustainable outcomes at www.hf.com.
Permira is a global investment firm that backs successful businesses with growth ambitions. Founded in 1985, the firm advises funds with total assets under management of US$65bn+ and makes long-term majority and minority investments across two core asset classes, private equity and credit. The Permira private equity funds have made approximately 300 private equity investments in four key sectors: Technology, Consumer, Healthcare and Services. Permira employs over 450 people in 16 offices across the United States, Europe and Asia.
The Permira funds have an extensive track record in technology investing, having invested US$15.4 billion in 48 companies across SaaS, cybersecurity, digital commerce, fintech and online marketplaces. The Permira funds have previously backed and helped scale some of the largest and fastest-growing technology businesses globally, including Clearwater Analytics, G2, Genesys, Informatica, Klarna, Mimecast, McAfee, Seismic and TeamViewer.
For more information, visit www.permira.com