One of the Triangle’s largest employers and a giant in software analytics, SAS has remained privately held since it was founded by Goodnight in 1976.
But earlier this month, Goodnight had listened to offers from the semiconductor company Broadcom that would have valued the company as high as $20 billion.
Goodnight and his co-founder John Sall, however, changed their minds about potentially selling the company.
“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,” Goodnight said in a statement announcing his plans.
“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.”
Goodnight owns two-thirds of SAS, and his co-founder Sall owns the remaining third, SAS spokeswoman Shannon Heath confirmed in an email.
SAS declined to make any executives available for interview about the announcement.
The company had revenue of around $3 billion last year, a number that was down around 2% from 2019 because of the pandemic.
On Thursday, SAS said revenue increased 8.4% in the first six months of 2021.
This is the second time that SAS has indicated it would like to sell stock on the public markets.
In 1999, SAS came close to filing an IPO. The company changed course when the stock market crashed after the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s.
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