Analytics giant SAS Institute aims for IPO in 2024

In 2020, SAS generated approximately $3 billion in revenue and achieved its 45th consecutive year of profitability, the company noted Thursday.

Analytics giant SAS Institute on Thursday said that it's preparing for an initial public offering in 2024. The privately-held firm was recently in talks to be acquired by Broadcom, according to a report. 

Incorporated in 1976, SAS remains under the leadership of its co-founders, Jim Goodnight and John Sall. The Cary, NC-based company has customers in 145 countries and more than 12 000 employees. It produces a range of software products spanning analytics, machine learning-based products, data management and more.

In 2020, SAS generated approximately $3 billion in revenue and achieved its 45th consecutive year of profitability, the company noted Thursday. SAS achieved 8.4% revenue growth in the first half of 2021.

"By moving toward IPO readiness, we can open up new opportunities for SAS employees, customers, partners and our community to participate in our success, ensuring the brightest possible future for all of us," CEO Jim Goodnight said in a statement. "As an organization, we are on a solid path forward, with sustainable growth that continues to build upon the trusted brand and platform we have created. We have built a strong operational and financial foundation, setting us up for an even better future. Now, it's time to prepare for this next chapter."

To become IPO-ready, SAS will begin to take steps such as refining its financial reporting structure, streamlining certain operational processes, and enhancing its focus on certain segments of its platform. 

According to Forrester VP and Principal Analyst Boris Evelson, preparing for an IPO is a more logical step for SAS than preparing for an acquisition.   

"SAS offers a very broad range of products, solutions and professional services," he said. "Integrating these into an existing business, especially with overlapping products/solutions/services, will be challenging, consuming time and effort. An IPO allows most SAS employees to concentrate on products and customers, and not be distracted with post-merger integration."