Deals

Salesforce to buy cloud marketing biz ExactTarget for a massive $2.5B

Enterprise software behemoth Salesforce has agreed to acquire digital marketing firm ExactTarget for a massive $2.5 billion, the company announced today.

Salesforce intends to buy all outstanding shares of ExactTarget for $33.75 per share, pending regulatory approval. That’s an 11.7 percent premium over ExactTarget’s closing price yesterday of $22.10 per share.

Indianapolis-based ExactTarget was founded in 2000 and went public on the New York Stock Exchange in March 2012. It provides cloud-based software that claims to improve customer engagement and sales, and it has more that 6,000 clients worldwide including Coca-Cola, Gap, and Nike. The company posted a $21 million loss on top of $292 million revenue last year.

ExactTarget will be the largest acquisition ever for Salesforce, which has bought up quite a few companies during the past few years. This includes both the $689 million buy of Buddy Media and the $326 million purchase of Radian6. (Notice that both of those companies also offered online marketing software like ExactTarget.)

“The CMO is expected to spend more on technology than the CIO by 2017,” Salesforce CEO and chairman Marc Benioff (pictured) said in a statement. “The addition of ExactTarget makes Salesforce the starting place for every company and puts salesforce.com in the pole position to capture this opportunity.”

Marc Benioff photo via Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat

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