Monday 12 November 2018 1:41 pm

Software giant SAP to buy Qualtrics for $8bn days before unicorn's planned IPO

Software giant SAP has agreed to buy Qualtrics for $8bn (£6.2bn) just days before the survey software firm's planned IPO.

German software group SAP said its enterprise software and cloud services and Qualtrics' experience management platform would combine to be a “game changer” for companies to measure and act on feedback.

US-based Qualtrics, a rival to Survey Monkey, collects data so companies can monitor customer sentiment, employee engagement and markets.

SAP, Germany's largest company by market value, has begun shifting its business towards cloud technology to expand its digital offering.

SAP chief executive Bill McDermott said: “We continually seek out transformational opportunities and 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.”

He added: “The combination of Qualtrics and SAP reaffirms experience management as the groundbreaking new frontier for the technology industry.”

McDermott said Qualtrics' IPO was already oversubscribed and the two companies began discussions earlier this year over the acquisition.

SAP said it has secured funding of €7bn to cover the purchase price and acquisition costs.

Qualtrics chief executive Ryan Smith 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.”

He added: “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.”