SAP Agrees to Buy Qualtrics for $8 Billion

 

Just over six years ago Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith was offered $500 million for the company. He turned the offer down. Today, that gamble has apparently paid-off as it has been reported SAP has agreed to purchase Qualtrics in an all-cash deal for $8 billion according to an SAP announcement.

Qualtrics’ Gamble Paid-Off

At the time of the initial offer, Ryan’s company was reportedly doing north of $50 million in revenue. While this was impressive, Ryan believed he could grow the company (which he co-founded with his father and brother) into something even larger. This belief in himself paid-off as it was reported on Sunday night that Qualtrics would forego it’s plans of a Wednesday IPO and instead sell the company to SAP for $8 billion.

Sale Concludes Just Days Before the Highly Anticipated IPO

Qualtrics is already profitable. In fact, the company was cash-flow positive ever since its founding. According to Mr. Smith, this is why there was such high investor interest in the IPO. According to Mr. Smith, “Our IPO is 13 times oversubscribed already, and we hadn’t finished the second week.” And with good reason. According to reports the company is currently growing at over 52% a year and had revenue over $289 million for 2017. Reports had placed the share range between $18 and $20 per share which meant a median estimate valuation of over $4.8 billion.

A Highly Satisfied CEO

According to Mr. Smith, “”I feel more at peace about this than going public,” Smith says. “We didn’t need to go public. We had no investor pressure, no financial pressure, and we had no employee pressure. We were going public for the sole reason of creating the category. And nothing is bigger for that than this combination. It would take ten years to do what we are going to do tomorrow.”

What Qualtrics Does

Qualtrics is a cloud-based survey and research software company. Founded in 2002 in Provo, Utah Qualtrics allows companies to manage their customer, product, employee, and brand experiences all on one platform. According to the company website, over 75% of Fortune 100 companies currently use Qualtrics, and over 9,000 enterprise companies currently use their services worldwide.

A Newly Minted Billionaire Family

For their effort, the Smith family will reportedly take home an estimated $2.6 billion after taxes. According to the regulatory filings, the family owns roughly 45.5% of Qualtrics. Not a bad pay-day considering the family already sold $75 million of stock in the company just last year.

If approve, the deal is expected to close sometime in 2019.

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