Private equity, Sales and marketing, Content

Zendesk Rejects Private Equity Buyout Offer

Zendesk has rejected an unsolicited $16 billion buyout offer from private equity firms, the developer of cloud-based customer support software disclosed today.

Thoma Bravo, owner of multiple MSP software companies, was among the private equity firms striving to acquire Zendesk, according to The Wall Street Journal. A separate group of private equity firms also pursued Zendesk, the Journal said. Reuters had additional insights here.

No Deal

Zendesk CEO Mikkel Svane, speaking on a conference call, said the offer "significantly undervalues our company," and declined further comment about the offer.

The offer from the private equity firms surfaces while Zendesk faces intense pressure from shareholders. Indeed, some investors want Zendesk to abandon a buyout of Momentive Global -- parent of SurveyMonkey.

Despite the challenges, Zendesk remains in growth mode. Fourth quarter revenue increased 32% year-over-year to $375.4 million, the company disclosed today.

Zendesk Cloud Support Software: Business Size, Scale

Zendesk's cloud-based software supports customer service, IT service management (ITSM), chat, social channels and more. The company employees more than 5,000 people, and supports more than 100,000 brands, Zendesk says.

Thoma Bravo, meanwhile, is deeply familiar with the ITSM market -- especially help desk and business management systems that MSPs run. The company has investments in ConnectWise, Barracuda, N-able and Sophos, among others.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.