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The Wall Street Journal: Zendesk nears deal to sell to private-equity firms

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Zendesk Inc. is close to a deal with a group of buyout firms, according to people familiar with the matter, resurrecting a failed attempt to sell itself in what would be one of the biggest private-equity takeovers of the year.

A deal with a group that includes Hellman & Friedman LLC and Permira could be struck in the coming days assuming the talks don’t fall apart, the people said. The price couldn’t be learned.

Zendesk
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which has a market value of about $7 billion, had been expected to strike a settlement agreement with activist investor Jana Partners LLC days after the company ended a bid to sell itself in a private-equity auction, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

Zendesk and Jana were discussing a truce that could involve Mikkel Svane stepping down as the software company’s chief executive, as well as changes to the board including the removal of director Carl Bass.

Zendesk earlier this month said it would stay independent after holding talks with potential buyers as choppiness in financing markets makes it harder to finance deals.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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