Zendesk ticks higher as Jana calls for board changes or sale after failed Momentive deal

Feb. 28, 2022 11:44 AM ETZendesk, Inc. (ZEN), MNTVBy: Joshua Fineman, SA News Editor1 Comment

Zendesk sign at company headquarters in Silicon Valley

Michael Vi/iStock Editorial via Getty Images

  • Zendesk (NYSE:ZEN) rose 1.6% as activist holder Jana Partners called for the company to either institute significant board changes or a sale following the failed bid for SurveyMonkey parent Momentive Global (NASDAQ:MNTV).
  • Jana claimed that Zendesk's (ZEN) board received the lowest level of deal-related shareholder support, about 9%, in the last 20 years for its planned acquisition of Momentive (MNTV), according to a letter sent to Zendesk's board.
  • "This unprecedented rejection of the board's most consequential strategic decision in recent memory comes as no surprise, as we believe it was obvious the Momentive acquisition was flawed from the start," Barry Rosenstein, Jana's managing partner wrote in the letter.
  • Jana, which initially called for Zendesk to terminate the Momentive (MNTV) deal back in late November, earlier this month nominated four directors to Zendesk's board. Momentive shares are down 4.8% today.
  • "We believe it could not be any clearer that Zendesk's board is disengaged and totally out of touch with shareholder priorities, lacks the requisite skillset to govern the company on their behest and/or simply does not care enough to consider them," Rosenstein wrote in the letter.
  • Zendesk (ZEN) earlier this month rejected an "unsolicited" bid from a consortium of private equity firms to acquire Zendesk in an all-cash transaction valued between $127 and $132 per share.

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