Jul 26, 2020 - Economy & Business

SAP to spin out Qualtrics via an IPO

Qualtrics founder Ryan Smith.
Qualtrics founder Ryan Smith. Photo by Sportsfile/Corbis/Sportsfile via Getty Images

German enterprise software giant SAP announced on Sunday that it will spin out Qualtrics less than two years after buying the Utah-based "experience management" company for $8 billion.

Why it matters: The move reflects the red-hot IPO market, in which all sorts of companies are rushing to the public markets, as well as the increased importance of organizations understanding employee and customer sentiments.

Details: SAP plans to have a majority stake after the IPO, while Qualtrics co-founder and CEO Ryan Smith will be the largest individual shareholder. Expect some further details on Monday when SAP reports second-quarter earnings, including any formal board role at Qualtrics for SAP CEO Christian Klein.

Backstory: Axios has learned that SAP and Qualtrics began discussing a spin-out around three months ago, in part to help give Qualtrics a more attractive currency with which to make acquisitions and retain employees.

Go deeper: Video of Smith discussing the acquisition, during an Upfront Summit conference appearance in early 2019:

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