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Zendesk shareholders vote for $10.2 billion private equity deal

Written by Thu 22 Sep 2022

Shareholders Agreement Contract

After agreeing in June this year to go private after receiving a $10.2 billion deal from a group of private equity firms led by Hellman & Friedman and Permira, Zendesk shareholders have voted in favour of the planned acquisition.

The approval came just weeks after the company said it would remain public, with the $77.50 price per share being 33.7% higher than the last closing share price of Zendesk.

“Today’s vote by our stockholders validates our belief that this transaction will deliver immediate value to our stockholders and superior solutions to our customers,” said Mikkel Svane, CEO & Founder, Zendesk. “We thank our stockholders for their support and are pleased to now shift our focus to the important next steps toward completing the transaction.”

A previous offer in February valued the San Francisco-based software firm at $16 billion, representing an almost $6 billion higher offer than the one Zendesk decided to accept. Activist investor Jana Partners have an almost 2.5% stake in Zendesk and have been pushing for a sale after the company wasn’t able to buy Momentive Global, the parent company of SurveyMonkey. The purchase of Momentive Global was rejected by Zendesk shareholders.

Earlier this year, Jana Partners also nominated four directors to the board of Zendesk, igniting a proxy contest. The investor argued that the board “must either be replaced with capable fiduciaries, or reverse course and engage with interested strategic and financial buyers to sell the company.”

By accepting the $10.2 billion offer, Zendesk will not have to deal with the proxy challenge from Jan Partners. The transaction with the private equity consortium is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.

Written by Thu 22 Sep 2022


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