SAP to float Qualtrics less than two years after buying it for $8bn

Telegraph 27 Jul 2020 09:07

German software giant SAP plans to float its customer-survey unit Qualtrics less than two years after it bought in a blockbuster $8bn (£6.14bn) deal.

The purchase marked the final act by former chief executive Bill McDermott, who touted the deal as a way to accelerate growth by combining SAP’s sales force and a trove of operational data with Qualtrics’s customer-experience feedback.

The Walldorf-based company said it now intends to float part of Qualtrics in the US but will remain the majority owner.

An IPO could value Qualtrics, which measures and generates reports on customer and employee satisfaction, at as much as $18.7bn, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analysis.

Qualtrics founder Ryan Smith will gain additional autonomy under the listing and he will be the company’s single-largest shareholder.

The surprise about-face signals a strategic shift under new chief executive Christian Klein.

“SAP’s acquisition of Qualtrics has been a great success and has outperformed our expectations with 2019 cloud growth in excess of 40pc, demonstrating very strong performance in the current setup,” he said.

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