In an announcement released today from Salesforce.com, the popular CRM platform has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire cloud-based marketing services provider ExactTarget for approximately $2.5 billion. Unanimously approved by the boards of directors for both companies, Salesforce will pay $33.75 per share in cash for all outstanding shares of ExactTarget.
According to a report on NYT’s Dealbook, the offer is 53 percent more than ExactTarget’s closing price yesterday.
This deal is Salesforce’s largest acquisition yet, and falls in line with the company’s previous acquisitions to retain cloud marketing solutions, buying Radian6 in 2011 followed by Buddy Media in 2012.
As stated in the release from Salesfore.com, “The combination of ExactTarget’s industry-leading marketing automation and campaign management capabilities with salesforce.com’s leading social marketing solutions – listening with Radian6, publishing with Buddy Media, and advertising with Social.com – will deliver the marketing platform of choice for CMO’s.”
“Marketing was the fastest growing CRM category in 2012,” said Gartner’s Marketing Leaders Research managing VP Yvonne Genovese, who went on to claim that Gartner believes this trend will continue through 2017. Salesforce notes that Gartner estimates one-third of traditional consumer technology company marketing budgets will switch to digital by 2015, with CMOs spending more on information technology than CIOs by 2017.
Providing digital marketing services to more than 6,000 companies around the world, ExactTarget’s email, social and mobile capabilities will be leveraged to help Salesforce.com, “…further its mission of being the world’s leading CRM platform.” The acquisition is expected to close by July 31, 2013, the end of Salesforce.com’s fiscal second quarter.
Update: See Marketing Land’s follow-up story to read what marketing insiders are saying about the acquisition, and what it means for the industry.