SAP-owned Qualtrics to go private in $12.5bn acquisition

13 Mar 2023

Image: © Sundry Photography/

Two years after going public, Qualtrics is moving to become a private company again once the deal is concluded.

Qualtrics is being acquired by Silver Lake and CPP Investments in an all-cash transaction valuing the software company at $12.5bn.

The deal is targeting all of the outstanding shares not currently owned by Silver Lake, including the entirety of SAP’s majority ownership share.

The company’s shareholders will receive $18.15 per share from the deal, which is expected to give SAP roughly $7.7bn, Reuters reports. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.

SAP acquired Utah-based Qualtrics in November 2018 in a deal worth $8bn. In 2020, it planned to take Qualtrics public in an IPO while stating its intention to remain the majority owner of the firm. Qualtrics finally went public in 2021.

But in January, SAP revealed its plans to sell Qualtrics as part of a broader restructuring to focus on its largest business, cloud services.

Once the deal is concluded, Qualtrics will become an independent, privately held company. The software company will continue to be led by CEO Zig Serafin.

Silver Lake co-CEO Egon Durban said the investment company is a strong believer in the “amazing technology platform” that Qualtrics is building.

“We’re thrilled to support the continued efficient growth of Qualtrics into a generational, highly profitable platform company by enabling further investment across all aspects of the business, including areas such as AI and other powerful new technologies,” Durban said.

“This is a landmark transaction for Silver Lake, reflecting our confidence in the team and their vision.”

SAP SE CEO Christian Klein said the company plans to remain as a “close go-to-market and technology partner” to help Qualtrics’s future success.

“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,” Klein said. “Since we acquired Qualtrics in 2019 the company has more than tripled its revenue while delivering profitability.”

Qualtrics founder and executive chair Ryan Smith said the company looks forward to working with Silver Lake to build “the next great enterprise cloud platform”.

“I couldn’t be more excited for this step in our journey,” Smith said. “Silver Lake’s belief in our vision and their amazing track record of helping founders and management teams speaks for itself.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic