Zendesk Explores Settlement Discussions With Activist Investor Jana Partners

  • Customer engagement software solutions portfolio provider Zendesk, Inc ZEN is exploring settlement options with activist investor Jana Partners LLC, days after the software company failed to divest itself, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • The truce could call for the exit of CEO Mikkel Svane and director Carl Bass.
  • Bass, the former CEO of Autodesk Inc ADSK, is Zendesk’s lead independent director and chair of the board’s compensation committee.
  • Also Read: Why Zendesk Shares Are Falling Today
  • In February, a group of private-equity firms offered to takeover Zendesk at a valuation of $17 billion. Zendesk’s was worth $7 billion based on June 14 closing price.
  • Zendesk’s shareholders subsequently vetoed its planned acquisition of SurveyMonkey parent Momentive Global Inc MNTV under a $4.1 billion deal.
  • Jana, who owned a 2.5% Zendesk stake, had slammed the Momentive deal and nominated four directors to Zendesk’s board. The activist could still run a proxy fight if the settlement talks fail. 
  • Jana urged Zendesk to set a date for its annual meeting before the June deadline and was ready to take legal action if required. Zendesk scheduled the meeting for August 17.
  • Price Action: ZEN shares traded higher by 0.86% at $57.50 in the premarket on the last check Wednesday.
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