SalesForce.com has announced its plans to purchase ExactTarget, a firm that sells social marketing software. The deal will be worth about $2.5 billion, making it Salesforce's largest acquisition to date.
Bloomberg's Aaron Ricadela and Scott Moritz reported, "Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM), the largest maker of online customer-management software, agreed to buy ExactTarget Inc. (ET) for about $2.5 billion, making its biggest acquisition ever to further an expansion into social marketing. The offer for $33.75 per share in cash is 53 percent more that ExactTarget’s closing price yesterday. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, according to a statement today."
All Things D's Arik Hesseldahl wrote, "The deal is another example of the boom in marketing software that runs in the cloud. Salesforce has made a series of acquisitions in this space in recent years, the most recent and now largest of which was Buddy Media, for which it paid $745 million last year."
Destination CRM's Kelly Liyakasa added, "According to Ray Wang, principal analyst and CEO of Constellation Research, ExactTarget is a good fit for its cloud acquirer; the move adds a solid list of customers that use the platform for campaign management and automation, such as Coca-Cola and Gap. However, there could be competitive spill-off."
Computerworld's Chris Kanaracus commented, "It's no secret why Salesforce.com is interested in expanding its portfolio in marketing software. For one thing, Gartner has predicted that chief marketing officers will spend more money on IT than CIOs by 2017, as Salesforce.com noted in its announcement. Salesforce.com and ExactTarget's products, when combined, will 'create a world-class marketing platform across email, social, mobile and the web,' Salesforce.com said in a statement."