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SAP to list Qualtrics, less than two years after convincing it not to list

Plans to retain sales and dev umbilical cord to CX outfit

German software giant SAP will float its data analytics subsidiary Qualtrics, less than two years after convincing the firm not to list itself.

SAP purchased Qualtrics for $8bn in 2018, just days before the Utah-based firm's planned IPO.

The purchase was seen as the capstone to then-SAP-CEO Bill McDermott's $26bn spending spree that aimed at strengthening the company's cloud services portfolio. Qualtrics specialises in gathering and analysing customer experience data, which gave SAP a better position vis a vis the like of Salesforce.

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In a statement released on Sunday, SAP's current chief exec, Christian Klein, said that the acquisition had been "a great success and has outperformed our expectations with 2019 cloud growth in excess of 40 per cent". He said the listing would "increase Qualtrics's autonomy and enable it to expand its footprint both within SAP's customer base and beyond".

He added that SAP would remain Qualtrics's "largest and most important go-to-market and development partner" after its debut and that it would give the Utah-based firm "greater independence to build its own ecosystem for experience management through partnerships".

SAP said that it would retain a majority stake in the firm. Ryan Smith, who co-founded Qualtrics with his brother Jared in the basement of their parents' home, will be the largest individual shareholder.

Timing of the IPO has not been set, with SAP to wait for market conditions to ripen before setting a date. ®

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