Zendesk nears takeover deal with group of private equity firms – sources

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June 23 (Reuters) – Software company Zendesk Inc (ZEN.N), which has a market value of more than $7 billion, is set to strike a deal with a group of takeover companies including Hellman & Friedman LLC and Permira, people familiar with the matter said Thursday.

A deal could be reached in the coming days, they said. Zendesk shares rose 41.5% to $81.98 after the bell.

The San Francisco-based company, which has come under pressure from activist investor Jana Partners, said earlier this month it would continue as an independent public company after completing a review of its operations.

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Jana had named four directors to Zendesk’s board, arguing that the company needed to be rehabilitated after an unpopular attempt to buy Momentive Global (MNTV.O), parent company of web polling company SurveyMonkey. Read more

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Zendesk was in talks to settle with Jana, which could have involved the resignation of Mikkel Svane as chief executive and some board changes. Read more

However, the newspaper, which first reported the takeover talks on Thursday, said it was unclear where Zendesk’s talks with Jana stand with this expected deal with private equity firms.

Zendesk, a customer service software provider, has seen a surge in business during the pandemic as its enterprise customers accelerate digital transformation.

Hellman & Friedman and Permira declined to comment on takeover talks, while Zendesk did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

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Reporting by Akash Sriram and Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru and Chibuike Oguh in New York; Editing by Rashmi Aich

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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