Atlanta’s Mailchimp agrees to $12 billion sale

Credit: Jenni Girtman

Credit: Jenni Girtman

Intuit to buy digital marketing company with mix of stock, cash

A Silicon Valley company has agreed to buy Atlanta’s Mailchimp for $12 billion in stock and cash.

Intuit, which makes TurboTax and QuickBooks accounting software, will issue $200 million of restricted stock to Mailchimp employees after the deal closes. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of January.

Founded in 2001, Mailchimp helps organizations refine their digital marketing strategies. It first emphasized email marketing but has since expanded into social media, websites and other digital platforms.

Mailchimp’s multibillion-dollar sale underscores the growing importance of the technology sector to Atlanta’s economy — and how big some of the city’s tech startups have become.

In December, 24 Atlanta-area companies made a list of the fastest-growing tech companies compiled by consulting firm Deloitte. In 2010, only nine Atlanta companies made the list.

Atlanta was the highest-ranked Southeast city last year by real estate firm CBRE for the quantity and quality of its tech talent. Tech companies like Microsoft and Google are also expanding here to recruit the city’s growing supply of Black tech talent.

Mailchimp said about 900 of its 1,200 employees are in Atlanta, with other offices in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. It said Intuit plans to retain all workers, and that Mailchimp will continue to be based here.

Mailchimp last year signed a lease for 300,000 square feet for new headquarters in a new mixed-use development on Ralph McGill Boulevard called Fourth Ward, situated on the eastern segment of the Beltline walking trail. The company’s headquarters are currently at Ponce City Market.

The company said it is proceeding with those plans.

Mailchimp works with companies and nonprofits of all sizes, but the deal with Mountain View, California-based Intuit will help Mailchimp expand its offerings to small businesses, executives said.

“We’ve vastly expanded and evolved Mailchimp’s platform to help millions of small businesses around the world start and grow,” Mailchimp CEO and co-founder Ben Chestnut said in a news release.

Mailchimp gets about half its revenue outside the U.S., an Intuit executive said on a Monday conference call. Mailchimp’s clients include New Belgium Brewing, Vimeo and the Brooklyn Community Foundation.