Salesforce Buys Marketing Toolmaker ExactTarget for $2.5B
The acquisition gives Salesforce, which runs the world's most-used cloud-based CRM platform, new capabilities that enable more information gathering than ever for customers.Salesforce.com, continuing to add marketing and social networking tools for use by its Marketing Cloud and Social.com groups, revealed June 4 that it will acquire cloud marketing platform provider ExactTarget for $2.5 billion in cash. Under the terms of the agreement, Salesforce.com will pay $33.75 per share for the Indianapolis-based company. The stock was selling at $33.69 at market close on June 4. ExactTarget positions itself as the world's largest marketing software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider. It provides on-demand software for permission-based email marketing, mobile marketing and social media marketing. ExactTarget sells its software directly to the end user—typically a corporate marketing department—or through a reseller network. The acquisition of ExactTarget gives Salesforce, which runs the world's most-used cloud-based CRM platform, new capabilities that will enable companies to gather more information about their customers across sales, service and marketing channels, Salesforce said. More than 120,000 enterprises currently use at least one of Salesforce's services. The acquisition is a clear indicator that Salesforce is now aiming its wares at corporate marketing officers rather than at sales executives.