Dec. 23, 2015, 5:34 PM
- A week after The Information reported Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) is in talks to buy SteelBrick for ~$600M, the company has announced it's buying the cloud configure-price-quote (CPQ) software firm for $360M ($300M net of cash on hand) in stock after accounting for Salesforce's existing stake in the company. (8-K filing)
- The deal is expected to close during Salesforce's April quarter. The company states "a portion of the aggregate consideration will be subject to a retention holdback and a portion will be held in escrow to secure the indemnification obligations of the SteelBrick stockholders."
- Last week: The Information's report and details about SteelBrick's products
- Update: SteelBrick CEO Godard Abel in a blog post about the deal: "Over the past six years, we’ve been on a mission to make selling simple by developing next generation Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) and Subscription Billing apps, optimized for small- and mid-sized companies, on the Salesforce cloud platform with speed and ease ... Being a part of Salesforce will give us an amazing opportunity to accelerate our delivery of fully integrated Quote-to-Cash applications right within Salesforce, helping thousands more customers grow revenue faster than ever before."
Dec. 17, 2015, 11:19 AM
- The Information reports Salesforce (CRM -0.4%) is in talks to buy SteelBrick, a provider of cloud-based configure-price-quote (CPQ) software for sales pros, for as much as $600M, mostly in stock.
- SteelBrick's CPQ, billing, and analytics software help salespeople come up with proposals/prices, manage invoices and collections, and forecast the impact of price quotes on revenue. They complement Salesforce's core Sales Cloud salesforce automation software, and are built on top of Salesforce's cloud app platform.
- Salesforce invested in SteelBrick earlier this year. Oracle bought SteelBrick rival BigMachines in 2013 for a reported 9-figure sum; SteelBrick employs a number of BigMachines vets.
Aug. 6, 2015, 2:15 PM
- P-E firms Permira has closed its $5.3B ($48.75/share) acquisition of Informatica (INFA +0.4%), a deal first announced on April 7. Sohaib Abbasi will step down as Informatica's CEO, but remain chairman.
- Along with the deal's closing, Informatica has announced Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) have become "strategic investors," taking stakes of undisclosed sizes in the data warehousing software vendor.
Jul. 7, 2015, 12:41 PM
- After following markets lower earlier today, Workday (WDAY +1.1%) has turned positive in the wake of a column from The Information's Steve Nellis arguing Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) should buy the cloud HCM/financials software leader.
- Nellis: "Only Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) and Workday have enough revenue momentum to help Microsoft become a major seller of software for tracking customers, employee records and financials. But Workday is the better choice for several reasons, including the fact that Salesforce’s products feel dated."
- CNBC reported in May Microsoft held buyout talks with Salesforce, the sole enterprise cloud software pure-play larger than Workday, while adding the companies "remained far apart on a price."
- With a current market cap of $14.8B - would the company be willing to sell at $19B-$20B? - Workday would be a much less costly acquisition for Microsoft than Salesforce ($45.3B market cap). Both the company's forward sales multiples and expected growth rates are notably higher than Salesforce's.
May 22, 2015, 1:19 PM
- CNBC's David Faber reports Microsoft (MSFT -0.7%) held "significant talks" earlier this spring about acquiring Salesforce (CRM +2.4%), but the companies "remained far apart on a price." Microsoft was reportedly willing to offer $55B for Salesforce (current market cap of $49.3B); Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is said to have wanted as much as $70B.
- Faber adds the talks aren't expected to restart anytime soon. Aside from the price difference, Satya Nadella was reportedly "somewhat reluctant to pull the trigger on a deal of such size and consequence for his company."
- Bloomberg reported on May 5 Microsoft is "evaluating a bid" for the cloud CRM software giant - Microsoft's name had already loomed large in speculation about a rumored suitor. Reuters reported soon afterwards Microsoft wasn't currently weighing an offer.
- Salesforce has spiked higher on the report. Shares are up 6.3% since the company posted an FQ1 beat and reported 31% Y/Y deferred revenue growth on Wednesday afternoon.
May 20, 2015, 4:13 AM
- SAP Chief Executive Bill McDermott once again ruled out that his company has any interest in buying rival Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) and went further today by saying that Salesforce is unlikely to be acquired by any rival in the industry.
- "I do not expect that (an acquisition) to be the case at all because of the valuation of the company," McDermott declared.
- Salesforce will report FQ1 results after the bell today.
- Previously: Salesforce slumps as dealReporter states M&A talks are slow (May. 19 2015)
May 19, 2015, 1:06 PM
- Sources tell dealReporter Salesforce (CRM -1.9%) buyout talks are currently quiet, and that a deal could take time. Shares have moved lower in response.
- Salesforce, quite volatile over the last 3 weeks as various M&A rumors have emerged and been refuted, remains up 6% from where it traded before Bloomberg first reported the company had been approached by a potential acquirer on April 29. FQ1 results arrive tomorrow afternoon.
May 8, 2015, 4:03 AM
- Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) currently is not weighing an offer for Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM), Reuters reports, saying that Microsoft sees the CRM software giant's market valuation as too expensive.
- Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that Microsoft was evaluating a bid for Salesforce after the latter was approached by another unnamed would-be buyer.
May 5, 2015, 3:08 PM
- Bloomberg reports Microsoft (MSFT -1.2%) is "evaluating a bid" for Salesforce (CRM +4.8%) after Salesforce was approached by another potential suitor. Salesforce is reportedly working with two banks to determine a response.
- Bloomberg cautions Microsoft isn't currently in talks with the cloud CRM software giant, whose market cap stands at $49B. There was plenty of speculation Microsoft was the company that (per Bloomberg) recently approached Salesforce. SAP has denied being interested, and Oracle has suggested it isn't. A source says Microsoft has "long expected it might compete for Salesforce if it was for sale."
- Salesforce has jumped on the report. If Microsoft pursues a bid, activist ValueAct Capital (has a board seat) might raise objections.
- The report comes as Microsoft announces a partnership with cloud ERP/HR/e-commerce software vendor NetSuite (N +3%) to integrate NetSuite's apps with Office 365 apps and Azure services, and to make Azure NetSuite's "preferred cloud infrastructure platform." Microsoft struck an Office 365-focused partnership with Salesforce last year. NetSuite has received a lift from Bloomberg's report.
May 3, 2015, 6:12 AM
- Shooting down a Bloomberg report from Friday, SAP said it hasn't ever considered acquiring online rival Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM).
- "There is no truth whatsoever to the suggestion SAP is considering or ever did consider acquiring Salesforce.com," announced an SAP spokesperson in an e-mailed statement.
- Many rumors have been on the loose since reports first surfaced last Wednesday stating Salesforce had been approached by a potential acquirer.
- Previously: Bloomberg: Salesforce, SAP discussed alliance, acquisition last year (May. 01 2015)
May 1, 2015, 4:36 PM
- Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) CEO Marc Benioff and SAP CEO Bill McDermott "held discussions last year about possible strategic alliances between the two companies," Bloomberg reports.
- The news service adds the talks covered "a potential acquisition of Salesforce by SAP." But it also states SAP wasn't the company that recently approached Salesforce about a possible acquisition (reported on Wednesday). With SAP currently worth $93B and Salesforce $48B, a deal would be closer to a merger than an acquisition after factoring an M&A premium.
- SAP, like Oracle, is a major rival of Salesforce in the CRM software market. Gartner estimates Salesforce and SAP respectively had 16% and 13% of the 2013 CRM market, #1 and #2 overall. They were followed by Oracle (10%), Microsoft (7%), and IBM (4%). Salesforce's 30.3% 2013 CRM sales growth outpaced all major rivals.
- Bloomberg's latest report follows remarks from Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz suggesting Oracle wasn't the company that recently approached Salesforce, and a BuzzFeed report to the same effect. Microsoft's name has often popped up in speculation about the suitor; IBM and Google have been mentioned to a lesser extent.
May 1, 2015, 3:44 AM
- Although declining to comment on whether Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) made an approach for Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM), Oracle Chief Executive Safra Catz stated her company could benefit if Microsoft or another rival bought the customer relationship management firm.
- "It would cause a lot of disruption in that market and so I would view that as something that would be helpful to us especially in the short or medium term, dependent on who it was," Catz said.
- Oracle has spent more than $60B on more than 100 acquisitions in its 38-year history but is "not known to throw around money," she added.
- Previously: Report: Oracle didn't make a bid for Salesforce (Apr. 29 2015)
- Previously: Salesforce reportedly approached by potential buyer; shares +15.4% (Apr. 29 2015)
Apr. 29, 2015, 10:39 PM
- Following an afternoon Bloomberg report stating Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) has been approached by a potential acquirer, many have speculated archrival Oracle is the suitor. However, BuzzFeed's John Paczkowski (formerly with Re/code) reports Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) hasn't made such a move.
- Outside of Oracle, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is the name that has popped up most often. The software giant (closed today with a $399B market cap) is large enough to swallow Salesforce, has relatively limited product overlap - its Dynamics CRM apps compete against Salesforce's apps, but generally with SMBs than enterprises - and has been hungry to grow its cloud exposure. It just set a target of nearly tripling its business cloud service revenue run rate by mid-2018.
- Also: Microsoft and Salesforce struck an Office 365-centered partnership last year. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff showed up today at Microsoft's BUILD developer conference to trumpet the integration of additional Microsoft and Salesforce apps/services, and made a few tweets about the partnership along the way.
- Salesforce closed up 11.6% today thanks to Bloomberg's report, and then rose 1% in AH trading to $75.41. Many cloud software peers also got a lift.
Apr. 29, 2015, 2:50 PM
- Bloomberg reports Salesforce (CRM) has been approached by a potential acquirer, and is working with bankers to field offers. Shares have soared in response.
- With a current $51B market cap, only a handful of enterprise tech companies could afford to digest Salesforce. The short list includes Oracle ($197B market cap), Microsoft ($400B), IBM ($173B), and just maybe SAP ($94B). Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), which has made plenty of cloud software acquisitions, just launched a $10B debt offering.
- Update: BuzzFeed reports Oracle wasn't the company that approached Salesforce.
Sep. 19, 2014, 11:23 AM
- SAP (SAP -3.9%) investors have a case of sticker shock after the company agreed to pay $8.3B (to be financed through a credit facility) to buy cloud travel/expense management software leader Concur Technologies. The acquisition price is equal to 9.6x Concur's estimated FY15 (ends Sep. '15) sales.
- On the other hand, enterprise cloud software names are rallying on hopes of fresh deal activity. CRM +1.5%. N +2.7%. NOW +2.6%. PAYC +5%. ULTI +2.2%. JIVE +1.8%. DWRE +1.8%. MKTO +1.7%.
- SAP CEO Bill McDermott proclaims combining Concur's products with Ariba's cloud procurement/B2B marketplace offerings and Fieldglass' cloud labor-management software will help his company redefine "how businesses conduct commerce across goods and services, contingent workforces, travel and entertainment."
- McDermott also praises Concur's corporate travel ecosystem, which includes Hertz, Delta, Expedia, Sabre, and many others, and sees an opportunity to create real-time travel collaboration tools running on SAP's Hana in-memory database. SAP notes only 30% of Concur customers are currently SAP clients, yielding plenty of cross-selling opportunities.
Jul. 11, 2014, 10:25 AM
- Salesforce (CRM) is buying RelateIQ, provider of an analytics-based cloud CRM software platform, for $350M in stock. (8-K)
- RelateIQ has pitched itself as a data-driven alternative to Salesforce and other CRM platforms. Its apps analyze a user's inbox and calendar to find valuable contacts, merge relevant data, and keep track of customer interactions. The company recently raised $40M at a $245M valuation.
- Salesforce, already the CRM market's largest vendor (16.1% 2013 share, per Gartner), is looking to stay ahead of both established software giants such as Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft (expanding their cloud offerings), and upstarts such as SugarCRM.
- The RelateIQ deal is Salesforce's largest since last year's $2.5B purchase of cloud marketing automation software vendor ExactTarget.
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