Zendesk rejects $16 bn offer from PE consortium

Zendesk said it rejected an acquisition offer from a consortium of private equity firms for as much $16 billion.
The offer from the private equity firms, which Zendesk did not identify, was in the range of $127 to $132 per share in cash, the San Francisco-based company said. Zendesk shares jumped 10.7 percent on Thursday to close at $114.18.

Zendesk is facing activist shareholder pressure to abandon its $3.9 billion all-stock acquisition of the parent of online survey portal SurveyMonkey.

Zendesk said its board concluded that the non-binding proposal, which does not require it to abandon the SurveyMonkey deal, significantly undervalued it.

The company is facing calls from activist investors, including hedge fund Jana Partners, to abandon its proposed acquisition of SurveyMonkey parent Momentive Global.

Zendesk shareholders are scheduled to vote on the Momentive deal on Feb. 25. The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Jana was preparing to nominate four directors to the company’s board and that Thoma Bravo had made a takeover approach to Zendesk.

Thoma Bravo is one of the private equity firms that has expressed interest in Zendesk but is not part of the private equity consortium that made the offer the company rejected.

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