Why more small companies avoid IPOs

Ryan Smith spent years planning to sell shares of his software company, Qualtrics, on the stock market, meeting with bankers, carefully auditing financials and shaping a Wall Street-friendly narrative about the company’s prospects. Two weeks ago, the finish line was close, with a listing on the Nasdaq just a few days away.
But shortly before a staff meeting to update Qualtrics’ employees about the public listing, Smith received a phone call from Bill McDermott, chief executive of SAP. “It’s on,” McDermott told Smith.
Smith then stunned Qualtrics’ workers with a totally different message: SAP had agreed to buy the company for $8 billion in cash, nearly double the valuation bankers had set for the company’s public listing.