A highly remunerative Workday

Contact: Brenon Daly

Apparently, the third time is the charm for second-chancers. Workday became the third significant tech IPO in 2012 headed by executives who previously ran similar companies in the Internet 1.0 era. And while each of the other ‘redo’ companies (ServiceNow and Palo Alto Networks) have created more than $4bn of market value since their IPOs last summer, Workday soared past that level. In fact, on a fully diluted basis, the human capital management vendor is valued at more than the two other earlier IPOs combined.

In its offering, Workday priced its 22.8 million shares at $28 each, raising an eye-popping $638m. That’s a mountain of money, roughly three times more than most other ‘big’ tech IPOs raise. But that was just the start for the company, which was founded in 2005 by executives from PeopleSoft after that ERP veteran was acquired by Oracle.

Once trading began on Friday, the stock continued to move higher, changing hands at $47 late in the session. With about 160 million shares outstanding (on a non-diluted basis), Workday is being valued at $7.5bn. That works out to 30 times this year’s expected sales of about $250m. For an indication of just how rich that is, consider that PeopleSoft garnered just 4x sales when it was snapped up in 2005. Or another way to look at the price: Workday is commanding three-quarters of the valuation of PeopleSoft while only putting up one-tenth the sales of the first-generation version.

For more real-time information on tech M&A, follow us on Twitter @MAKnowledgebase.