Zendesk gains on report it's exploring a potential sale

Apr. 18, 2022 9:29 PM ETZendesk, Inc. (ZEN)ADBEBy: Joshua Fineman, SA News Editor1 Comment

Zendesk sign at company headquarters in Silicon Valley

Michael Vi/iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Zendesk (NYSE:ZEN) jumped 8% in after hours trading on a report the customer relationship software firm is exploring a sale amid pressure from activist JANA Partners.

Zendesk (ZEN) is working with adviser Qatalyst Partners and has contacted possible buyers including software companies and private equity firms, according to a Bloomberg report. Zendesk hasn't made a final decision on a sale and may choose to remain independent.

The report comes as the company faces a proxy contest from activist JANA Partners, who is pushing ZEN to add JANA board members or sell itself. In February Zendesk rejected an "unsolicited" bid from a consortium of PE firms to acquire Zendesk in an all-cash transaction valued between $127 and $132 per share. Bloomberg reported at the time the consortium included Hellman & Friedman, Advent International Corp. and Permira.

JANA, which initially called for Zendesk to terminate its now cancelled purchase of SurveyMonkey parent Momentive (MNTV) back in late November, in February nominated four directors to Zendesk's board.

Earlier this month Light Street founder and chief investment officer Glen Kacher, an investor in Zendesk, said the company may be worth $180 to $200/share in a potential takeover from a strategic bidder.

CNBC's David Faber in late February said that Adobe (ADBE) is not interested in a potential acquisition of Zendesk (ZEN). While there has been some speculation that Adobe could be interested, it doesn't want to purchase Zendesk, CNBCs' Faber said at the time, citing sources familiar.

Zendesk is scheduled to release Q1 results on April 28.

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