SAP buys Qualtrics in second biggest SaaS acquisition ever

Days before Qualtics was to hit NASDAQ, SAP acquired the research company for $8 billion.

SAP SE has announced that it will acquire research software firm Qualtrics, just days before the company’s IPO. 

The deal, which is the second largest SaaS company acquisition ever (the first being Oracle’s purchase of Netsuite for $9.3 billion in 2016) will be completed in the first quarter of 2019, in cash. 

SAP CEO Bill McDermott made the all-cash offer, which was more than 75 percent higher than its projected valuation at, to the Smith family who founded Qualtrics and hold 87.6 percent of its shares. 

SAP CEO Bill McDermott said:

“We continually seek out transformational opportunities – today’s announcement is exactly that. Together, SAP and Qualtrics represent a new paradigm, similar to market- making shifts in personal operating systems, smart devices and social networks. SAP already touches 77 percent of the world’s transactions. When you combine our operational data with Qualtrics’ experience data, we will accelerate the XM category with an end-to-end solution with immediate global scale. For Qualtrics, this introduces a dynamic new partner with the belief, passion and scale to bring experience management to millions of customers around the world.”

Qualtrics was only expecting a $5 billion valuation in their IPO. 

Ryan Smith, CEO of Qualtrics, said:

“Our mission is to help organizations deliver the experiences that turn their customers into fanatics, employees into ambassadors, products into obsessions and brands into religions. Supported by a global team of over 95,000, SAP will help us scale faster and achieve our mission on a broader stage. This will put the XM Platform everywhere overnight. We could not be more excited to join forces with Bill and the SAP team in this once-in-a-generation opportunity to power the experience economy.”