September 1, 2021 10:07:45 am
Intuit Inc., the maker of TurboTax and QuickBooks software, is in talks to buy email marketing firm Mailchimp for more than $10 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
No final decision has been made and discussions could fall through, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. Another buyer could also emerge for the company and others are interested, they added.
The deal would unite two providers of services for small businesses. Intuit has offered QuickBooks accounting software to clients for decades, supplementing it with services such as Credit Karma, which it acquired last year. Mailchimp is focused on digital marketing services, including social advertising, so-called shoppable links and automation products.
Representatives for Intuit and Mailchimp didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Bloomberg reported earlier in August that Mailchimp was exploring a sale. The company also has considered offering a minority stake, people with knowledge of the matter have said. It has attracted interest from both private equity firms and large tech companies such as Intuit. Mailchimp had about $300 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation in 2020, one of the people said.
The Atlanta-based company traces its origins to a web design agency called the Rocket Science Group, which was founded in 2001 by Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius. In January, Mailchimp acquired SMS marketing platform Chatitive Inc., which allows two-way personalised communication between businesses and their customers.
If talks are successful, it would be the largest deal to date for Intuit, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company paid $7.1 billion for Credit Karma, a personal finance website.
Intuit was founded in 1983 by Scott Cook and Tom Proulx and went public a decade later. Its TurboTax product has become synonymous with online tax filing, but small-business services account for a larger part of Intuit’s business — and don’t suffer the same seasonal swings.
Intuit, based in Mountain View, California, is looking to build on a small-business recovery that’s helped fuel sales of QuickBooks and other products. With business customers getting their operations back on track after Covid-19 disruptions — and many digitising their books for the first time — Intuit has been able to capitalise.
Its latest 2022 forecast, released last week, called for earnings of as much as $11.25 a share, excluding some items. Analysts had projected $10.73. The company also gave a rosy outlook for sales.
The shares have gained 49% this year, closing Tuesday at $566.11 — a record high.
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