SAP Accepts $7.7 B Deal for Sale of Qualtrics Stake to Silver Lake and CPP


SAP just agreed to sell its stake in Qualtrics — all 423 million shares — as part of the company’s $12.5 billion acquisition by Silver Lake and CPP Investments.

Silver Lake Management Company and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investment Board submitted a proposal on March 3, to acquire all outstanding shares in Qualtrics, a leading provider of experience management (XM) software, including all shares of company common stock owned by SAP, for a purchase price of $18.15 per share in cash — and after taking just over a week to consider it, SAP accepted the terms — meaning its stake will be acquired for approximately $7.7 billion.

Private, Public, Private: Experiences in XM

SAP acquired Qualtrics in 2019 for $8 billion. However, in a move that caught some insiders off guard, SAP took Qualtrics public in 2021, with a valuation of nearly $21 billion, allowing it to operate independently, yet still retaining ownership over a majority of the stock.

But by January 2023, SAP announced its intent to carry out “a targeted restructuring in select areas of the company,” a shakeup that not only included slashing 3,000 jobs — or about 2.5% of its global workforce, but also its intent to explore a sale of its stake in Qualtrics. Following the announcement, the company solicited proposals from potential buyers — and it appears Silver Lake and CPP offered the best deal, meaning Qualtrics will go back to being a private company.

Related Article: SAP Announces Layoffs and Possible Sale of Qualtrics Stake

What’s in It for SAP?

By selling its stake in Qualtrics, SAP is able to unlock value for its shareholders and streamline its operations to better align with its long-term plans — a shift in focus to cloud-based software and services.

In a letter summarizing 2022, Klein told shareholders, the year “was a stark reminder that no one business, government, or society can tackle the greatest challenges of our time alone” and therefore, “a change is needed” — a change Klein said could unlock significant value for both companies, with SAP able to focus more on its core business and profitability and Qualtrics able extend its leadership in the experience management category.

“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 in a statement. “Since we acquired Qualtrics in 2019 the company has more than tripled its revenue while delivering profitability. SAP intends to remain a close go-to-market and technology partner, servicing joint customers and continuing to contribute to Qualtrics’ success.”


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