Hellman & Friedman and Permira-Led Investor Group’s Acquisition of Zendesk

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson advised the investor group and Permira. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett acted as financing counsel to the investor group. Kirkland & Ellis advised Hellman & Friedman on the deal. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz advised Zendesk. Latham represented the lenders in the financing.

Zendesk, Inc. (NYSE: ZEN) has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an investor group led by leading global investment firms Permira and Hellman & Friedman LLC (“H&F”) in an all-cash transaction that values Zendesk at approximately $10.2 billion. Under the terms of this agreement, Zendesk shareholders will receive $77.50 per share. The offer represents a premium of approximately 34% over Zendesk’s closing stock price on June 23, 2022, the last full trading day prior to this announcement.

In addition to Hellman & Friedman and Permira, the investor group includes a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), and GIC.

The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by Zendesk’s Board of Directors, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year and is subject to customary closing conditions, including Zendesk stockholder approval. Hellman & Friedman and Permira have arranged for debt and equity financing commitments for the purpose of financing the transaction. Upon closing of the transaction, Zendesk will operate as a privately-held company.

The debt commitments consist of a $3.75 billion senior secured term loan facility, a senior secured delayed draw term loan facility and a $350 million senior secured revolving credit facility. The preferred equity commitments consist of $500 million of Series A preferred equity. 

Qatalyst Partners and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as financial advisors to Zendesk. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as financial advisor to the investor group.

Zendesk started the customer experience revolution in 2007 by enabling any business around the world to take their customer service online. Today, Zendesk is the champion of great service everywhere for everyone, and powers billions of conversations, connecting more than 100,000 brands with hundreds of millions of customers over telephony, chat, email, messaging, social channels, communities, review sites and help centers.

Hellman & Friedman is a preeminent global private equity firm with a distinctive investment approach focused on a limited number of large-scale equity investments in high quality growth businesses. 

Permira is a global investment firm that backs successful businesses with growth ambitions. Founded in 1985, the firm advises funds with total assets under management of US$65bn+ and makes long-term majority and minority investments across two core asset classes, private equity and credit. 

The Kirkland team was led by corporate partners Richard Campbell (Picture), Daniel Wolf, Peter Martelli and Abhishek Kolay, antitrust partner Thomas Sebastian Wilson, and international trade partner Ivan Schlager.    

The Fried Frank team was led by corporate partners Amber Banks (Meek) and Brian T. Mangino, and included corporate partners Joshua T. Coleman, Andrea Gede-Lange, Michael T. Gershberg and Darren A. Littlejohn; antitrust and competition partners Nathaniel L. Asker and Tobias Caspary; executive compensation & ERISA partner Jason R. Ertel; intellectual property and technology partner Amir R. Ghavi; litigation partners Michael J. Anstett and Joshua D. Roth; tax partners Shane C. Hoffmann and Alan S. Kaden; corporate real estate special counsel Melissa A. Meyrowitz; data strategy, security & privacy special counsel Michael A. Kleinman; antitrust and competition special counsel Neda Moussavi; corporate associates Elliott P. Barron, Gregory Bernstein, Justin P. Charles, Andrew Frank, Nathan Jablow, Katelyn James, Alex Kwon, Thomas C. Katsiotis, Michelle Lotfalla, P. Ryan Messier, Jennifer Michael, Brianna N. Schacter, Yimeng Shen, Charles Stern, Christine Walsh and Alanna Wolff.

Wachtell Lipton’s team was led by Partners Steven A. Rosenblum, Ronald C. Chen and Sabastian V. Niles and included Meng Lu, Associate, E. Madison Berg, Associate, Anna Dimitrijevic, Associate, Charlene C. Hong, Summer Associate, Joseph A. Singh, Summer Associate (Corporate), Andrea K. Wahlquist, Partner, Sasha F. Belinkie, Associate, Brian Diliberto, Associate (Executive Compensation and Benefits), Gregory E. Pessin, Partner, Kisho Watanabe, Associate (Finance), Ilene Knable Gotts, Partner, Katharine R. Haigh, Associate (Antitrust), Selwyn B. Goldberg, Of Counsel, Nicole D. Sharer, Associate, Maxim A. Miroff, Associate (Intellectual Property), T. Eiko Stange, Partner, and Susan Yaster, Associate (Tax).

The Simpson Thacher team included Brian Steinhardt, Matthew Farrell, Patrick Wolff and Joann Kim (Banking & Credit); William B. Brentani and Anna LeGrett (Capital Markets); Atif Azher (Corporate); Jonathan Lindabury and Nathan Utterback (Derivatives); Robert Guo, Christian Segar and Jamie (Hong Joo) Lee (Funds); and Russell Light (Tax).

Latham represented the lenders in the ARR financing with a team led by partners Michael Benjamin, Nicole Fanjul, and Pamela Kellet. The team also included partners Paul Bonewitz, Peter Sluka, Josh Holt, Jason Ewart, Conray Tseng, and Noah Weiss; counsel Bryce Kaufman; and associates Jennifer Dweck, Edward Prevost, Yekaterina Fomitcheva, Arthur Lo, Kevin Castillo, Juan Carlos Olivares, Saksham Chaturvedi, Fizza Hasan, Diana Duan, Ellen Fischer, Tony Zhou, and Ana Núñez Cárdenas.

Latham represented the providers of a preferred equity financing in connection with the transaction with a team led by partners Stelios Saffos and Peter Sluka and counsel Michael Saliba, with associates Salvatore Vanchieri, Matt DeSilva, and Kevin Zhang. Advice was also provided on tax matters by partners Jocelyn Noll and Bora Bozkurt, with associate Aaron Bernstein; on benefits & compensation matters by partners Bradd Williamson and Joe Farrell; with associate Charnae Supplee; on corporate matters by partner Michael Benjamin, with associate Nicholas Reist; on uniform commercial code matters by partner Larry Safran; on litigation matters by partner Linda Inscoe; on sanctions matters by partner Matthew Salerno, with associate Matthew Gregory; on environment, land & resources matters by counsel Joshua Marnitz; on data privacy matters by counsel Robert Brown; and on IP matters by associate Jack Chai.

Involved fees earner: Michael Anstett – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Nathaniel Asker – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Amber Banks (Meek) – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Elliott Barron – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Gregory Bernstein – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Tobias Caspary – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Justin Charles – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Joshua Thomas Coleman – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Jason Ertel – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Andrew Frank – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Andrea Gede-Lange – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Michael Gershberg – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Amir Ghavi – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Shane Hoffmann – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Nathan Jablow – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Katelyn James – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Alan Kaden – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Thomas Katsiotis – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Michael Kleinman – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Alex Kwon – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Darren Littlejohn – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Michelle Lotfalla – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Brian Mangino – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Ryan Messier – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Melissa Meyrowitz – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Jennifer Michael – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Neda Moussavi – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Joshua D. Roth – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Brianna Schacter – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Yimeng Shen – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Charles Stern – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Christine Walsh – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Alanna Wolff – Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Richard Campbell – Kirkland & Ellis; Abhishek Kolay – Kirkland & Ellis; Peter Martelli – Kirkland & Ellis; Ivan Schlager – Kirkland & Ellis; Thomas Wilson – Kirkland & Ellis; Daniel Wolf – Kirkland & Ellis; Michael Benjamin – Latham & Watkins; Aaron Bernstein – Latham & Watkins; Paul Bonewitz – Latham & Watkins; Bora Bozkurt – Latham & Watkins; Robert Brown II – Latham & Watkins; Kevin Castillo – Latham & Watkins; Jack Chai – Latham & Watkins; Saksham Chaturvedi – Latham & Watkins; Diana Duan – Latham & Watkins; Jennifer Dweck – Latham & Watkins; Jason Ewart – Latham & Watkins; Nicole Fanjul – Latham & Watkins; Joseph Farrell – Latham & Watkins; Ellen Fischer – Latham & Watkins; Yekaterina Fomitcheva – Latham & Watkins; Matthew Gregory – Latham & Watkins; Fizza Hasan – Latham & Watkins; Josh Holt – Latham & Watkins; Linda Inscoe – Latham & Watkins; Bryce Kaufman – Latham & Watkins; Pamela Kellet – Latham & Watkins; Arthur Lo – Latham & Watkins; Joshua Marnitz – Latham & Watkins; Jocelyn Noll – Latham & Watkins; Ana Núñez Cárdenas – Latham & Watkins; Juan Olivares – Latham & Watkins; Edward Prevost – Latham & Watkins; Nicholas Reist – Latham & Watkins; Lawrence Safran – Latham & Watkins; Matthew Salerno – Latham & Watkins; Peter Sluka – Latham & Watkins; Charnae Supplee – Latham & Watkins; Conray Tseng – Latham & Watkins; Noah Weiss – Latham & Watkins; Bradd Williamson – Latham & Watkins; Tony Zhou – Latham & Watkins; Atif Azher – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; William Brentani – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Matthew Farrell – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Robert Guo – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Joann Kim – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Jamie Lee – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Anna LeGrett – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Russell Light – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Jonathan Lindabury – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Christian Segar – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Brian Steinhardt – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Nathan Utterback – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Patrick Wolff – Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Sasha Belinkie – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; E. Madison Berg – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Ronald Chen – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Brian Diliberto – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Anna Dimitrijevi? – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Selwyn Goldberg – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Katharine Haigh – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Ilene Knable Gotts – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Meng Lu – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Maxim Miroff – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Sabastian Niles – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Gregory Pessin – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Steven Rosenblum – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Nicole Sharer – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Eiko Stange – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Andrea Wahlquist – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Kisho Watanabe – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Susan Yaster – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz;

Law Firms: Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; Kirkland & Ellis; Latham & Watkins; Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz;

Clients: Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA); Apollo Global Management; Blackstone; Blue Owl Capital; GIC Pte. Ltd.; Hellman & Friedman; HPS Investment Partners LLC; Permira; Zendesk, Inc.;