Zendesk's billion-dollar plan to acquire Momentive, which runs the popular SurveyMonkey tool, has failed after its own shareholders rejected the proposal.
“While we were excited by the potential of this transaction to transform the customer experience and create stockholder value, we respect and appreciate the perspectives of our stockholders,” said Zendesk CEO Mikkel Svanek.
In a blog post, Svanek explained a little more about what made Momentive an attractive target and Zendesk's future plans. Zendesk's business is sound, he said, but could've been augmented by Momentive.
“We planned to acquire Momentive as a way to accelerate our ability to deliver the future of customer intelligence,” he wrote. “While we will not be moving forward with that acquisition, we remain as committed as ever to helping our customers get more value out of their data.”
The deal was sunk largely by activist shareholders who opposed it. The Wall Street Journal reported that Jana Partners, which owns 3%, and Janus Henderson, which owns 5%, both opposed the deal. Jana called it a “reactive and impulsive decision”.
Faced with scepticism from its own shareholders, spending $ 4.1 billion is an impossible ask. Shareholders voted against the deal on February 25.
For Momentive, the decision is not ideal. “While we are disappointed that Zendesk stockholders did not vote to approve the transaction, we are confident in our go-forward strategy,” said Monentive CEO Zander Laurie.
It remains to be seen what direction the two companies take but with intense pressure in the CRM market, Zendesk needs to find a bold new plan.
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