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An Intuit office, in San Diego, Calif., on Aug. 21, 2015.

Mike Blake/Reuters

Intuit Inc., known for its small-business accounting and DIY tax-filing software, said on Monday it will acquire digital marketing company Mailchimp for about US$12-billion in a cash-and-stock deal.

The deal, expected to close by the second quarter of fiscal 2022, is Intuit’s biggest-ever acquisition. It will be financed through cash on hand and new debt of about US$4.5-billion to US$5-billion, Intuit said. Last year, the company bought personal finance portal Credit Karma for just more than US$7-billion.

The deal for Atlanta-based Mailchimp, which operates a marketing platform for small- and midmarket businesses, will help Intuit add insights to its Quickbooks platform that tracks spending.

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“There is incredible power in combining the customer data and the purchase data, and we wanted to put the power of the data in our customers hands,” said Sasan Goodarzi, chief executive at Intuit.

The deal comes at a time when fintech companies such as Intuit are benefiting from a recovery from the pandemic-induced slump among small businesses. The company has projected profit and revenue levels above estimates for fiscal 2022.

Founded in 2001, Mailchimp traces its roots to a web-design agency called the Rocket Science Group, which co-founders Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius started to focus on big corporate clients, according to its website.

They shut down the agency in 2007 to focus exclusively on Mailchimp, which they ran as an e-mail marketing service for small businesses. Without external funding, the company has been profitable, and touts more than 12 million clients globally.

Mailchimp reported US$800-million in revenue in 2020, a 20 per cent year-over-year growth. Half of its revenue comes from outside the United States. The company will continue to be based in Atlanta, Ga., and operate under its current brand following the acquisition.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Intuit’s products include TurboTax, a software that helps Americans file income tax returns, and QuickBooks, a cloud-based application that helps small businesses manage payments.

Intuit, which was started in 1983 by Scott Cook and Tom Proulx, went public 10 years later and now has more than 10,000 employees across 20 offices in nine locations worldwide.

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The deal is expected to add to Intuit’s adjusted earnings for full-year fiscal 2022.

The two firms started to discuss partnerships more than a year ago, and those discussions later evolved into talking about an acquisition. Bloomberg reported on the talks earlier in September.

Morgan Stanley served as financial adviser to Intuit, with Latham & Watkins LLP serving as its legal adviser. Qatalyst Partners and King & Spalding LLP advised Mailchimp.

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