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SAP Sells Controlling Stake in Qualtrics to Silver Lake and CPP Investments

Global software and ERP giant SAP has sold its entire stake in Qualtrics as part of a definitive agreement to acquire the experience management platform entered into by Silver Lake, a technology investment firm, and Canada Pension Plan Investments. SAP had owned a controlling share in Qualtrics. The all-cash agreement reflects a $12.5 billion valuation of Qualtrics.

Since SAP bought Qualtrics in late 2018, it has moved to integrate its AI-driven experience management capabilities across SAP’s customer experience solutions, including SAP Service Cloud and SAP Sales Cloud. SAP says that Qualtrics has more than tripled its revenue since the acquisition. SAP floated the platform in 2020 but retained a majority share.

Qualtrics describes itself as an online survey tool. It uses AI to measure both customer satisfaction and employee engagement in real time. It claims to improve customer experience, team performance and product design.

“SAP intends to remain a close go-to-market and technology partner, servicing joint customers and continuing to contribute to Qualtrics’ success,” said SAP CEO Christian Klein in a release.

Why we care. What to make of the SAP Qualtrics story? Towards the end of the 2010s, SAP — under then CEO Bill McDermott — was plainly looking to put its CX offerings on a footing to rival Adobe, Oracle and, above all, Salesforce. Building on its 2013 acquisition of successful, Swiss-based commerce solution Hybris, by 2018 SAP had added Gigya and Callidus Cloud to its portfolio and launched C/4 HANA.

C/4 HANA was the umbrella term for SAP’s CX offerings — and the name was aimed at positioning it alongside SAP’s leading enterprise ERP suite S/4 HANA. Although Qualtrics joined the party, SAP never seemed to completely absorb it, as it had Hybris, for instance, which became SAP Commerce Cloud. Qualtrics is the clear leader in its category and now begins another chapter in its story under long-time CEO Zig Serafin.

SAP has sold its controlling stake in Qualtrics, a leader in digital experience management, to Silver Lake and Canada Pension Plan Investments in an all-cash agreement, reflecting a $12.5 billion valuation of the platform. The move comes as SAP seeks to bolster its CX portfolio, integrating Qualtrics’ AI-driven experience management capabilities across its products. Since SAP bought Qualtrics in 2018, its revenue has more than tripled. Despite SAP's acquisition, Qualtrics has maintained its position as a clear leader in the industry, and begins a new chapter under long-time CEO Zig Serafin.

Originally reported by Martech:
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