SAP's $7.7 billion Qualtrics sale branded a “win-win” situation

A person silhouetted by lights holds a smartphone with the SAP logo displayed
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SAP has sold its stake in Qualtrics for $7.7 billion (£6.4 billion), after buying the company in 2018 for $8 billion.

The German software company sold its 423 million shares, a 71% stake, it announced this week as part of an acquisition of Qualtrics by technology investor consortium Silver Lake and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

With a purchase price of $18.15 per share, this values the company at around $12.5 billion in total, SAP said. The number of customers using Qualtrics has risen from 10,000, when it was acquired by SAP, to 18,000.

"Since we acquired Qualtrics in 2019 the company has more than tripled its revenue while delivering profitability,” said Christian Klein, CEO and member of the executive board of SAP SE. “SAP intends to remain a close go-to-market and technology partner, servicing joint customers and continuing to contribute to Qualtrics' success."

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2023. The company will continue to be led by CEO Zig Serafin and remain headquartered in Provo, Utah and Seattle, Washington.

“We are incredibly excited to partner with the team at Silver Lake, who deeply understand our business and will help us continue to build a high-performing company, invest in our innovation, and expand our ecosystem to help our customers succeed,” said Serafin.

Ilona Hansen, Gartner vice president in the ITLTP Applications Group, told IT Pro the deal is a “win-win” situation for Qualtrics.

She suggested the firm will come even stronger into the market and more open to other business relationships they weren’t able to have before under the SAP umbrella.

Hansen said that Qualtrics was acquired under the leadership of former SAP CEO Bill McDermott. However, when he left in 2019, the strategy around what to do with the company wasn’t driven forward anymore.

Taking the company publis in 2020 was a 'clever idea', she said, it gave freedom back to Qualtrics. SAP was essentially saying it would support Qualtrics with this move, but not to expect it to rip or tear it apart, or even integrate it further into SAP’s offerings.


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SAP acquired Qualtrics for $8 billion in November 2018, four days before it was meant to go public, with the company revealing at the time it had more than 9,000 businesses on its books across the world. SAP was aiming to boost its cloud offerings and integrate Qualtrics’ platform into its portfolio.

In July 2020, the German software firm decided to make Qualtrics public and announced it would retain a majority stake in it.

At the time, SAP said it would lower its ownership of Qualtrics from 100% but said it wasn’t planning on divesting or spinning off the firm.

Zach Marzouk

Zach Marzouk is a former ITPro, CloudPro, and ChannelPro staff writer, covering topics like security, privacy, worker rights, and startups, primarily in the Asia Pacific and the US regions. Zach joined ITPro in 2017 where he was introduced to the world of B2B technology as a junior staff writer, before he returned to Argentina in 2018, working in communications and as a copywriter. In 2021, he made his way back to ITPro as a staff writer during the pandemic, before joining the world of freelance in 2022.