Intuit -- the parent of TurboTax, QuickBooks and other brands -- will acquire marketing platform Mailchimp for $12 billion in cash and stock, linking two firms that mostly serve small businesses.
The transaction is expected to close prior to the end of Intuit’s second-quarter fiscal 2022, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
“Together, Mailchimp and QuickBooks will help solve small and mid-market businesses’ biggest barriers to growth, getting and retaining customers,” says Sasan Goodarzi, CEO of Intuit.
Massimo Arrigoni, CEO of BEE, predicted last month that Intuit could be a player. “They could certainly afford it and would be adding a whole new marketing layer to their offering," he told MediaPost.
Intuit expects the cash portion to be financed through cash on hand and new debt of approximately $4.5 billion to $5.0 billion.
Included in the total is $300 million in transaction bonuses to be issued to Mailchimp employees in the form of restricted stock units.
Mailchimp’s equity holders will receive equal parts of cash and Intuit common stock valued at $562.61 per share.
Founded in Atlanta in 2001, Mailchimp now has over 1,200 employees and has steadily increased its services beyond email.
Earlier this year, Mailchimp acquired Chatitive, Inc., a two-way SMS marketing platform. And it has rolled out Stores, a tool that allows merchants to recreate brick-and-mortar retail experiences through an intuitive e-commerce platform.
Mailchimp has a particular synergy with QuickBooks.
“Today, QuickBooks helps more than 7 million small and mid-market businesses get paid fast, access capital, pay their employees and grow in an omni-channel world,” states
Alex Chriss, executive vice president and general manager of the Intuit Small Business and Self-Employed Group, says: “Mailchimp’s addition will bring speed and velocity to these efforts, with the acceleration of mid-market expansion opportunities and global growth for both brands.”
The news also signals “the importance of email marketing to the greater digital transformation story, which has hit the gas recently, especially since the beginning of the pandemic,” says April Mullen, director of brand and content marketing at SparkPost, which recently was acquired by MessageBird.
Mullen acknowledges that email “has been impacted by privacy changes -- namely the recent deprecation of email open tracking by Apple and regulations like GDPR. Even so, the tailwinds of opportunity are behind email in comparison to advertising where IDFA and third-party cookie tracking are or have disappeared,” she says.