Salesforce.com wraps up $2.5B acquisition of ExactTarget

San Francisco-based cloud computing giant Salesforce.com has completed its $2.5 billion acquisition of Indianapolis-based ExactTarget Inc., the companies announced Friday.

Salesforce.com, the largest maker of online sales software, paid $33.75 per share in cash to acquire ExactTarget, a digital marketing company that was founded in Greenfield in 2000 and went public in 2012.

The price was roughly 6.5 times ExactTarget’s projected revenue for 2013, analysts said.

"By combining ExactTarget's leading digital marketing capabilities with Salesforce.com's leading sales, service and social marketing solutions, Salesforce.com will create a world-class marketing platform across email, social, mobile and the Web," the companies said in a prepared statement.

The acquisition, announced in early June, is the biggest in Salesforce.com’s history and the eighth for the company in the past year.

Despite their rapid growth, neither company has been profitable in recent years. ExactTarget ExactTarget hasn’t reported a profit since 2008 and was expected to post losses this year and next. Salesforce.com is on a run of eight straight money-losing quarters.

ExactTarget employs about 1,800 people, with about 1,000 of those in the Indianapolis area. CEO and founder Scott Dorsey said the ExactTarget is expected to remain an independent unit of Salesforce.com and stay in Indianapolis. Analysts said Salesforce.com is likely to cut some of ExactTarget's administrative personnel as part of the merger.

Dorsey stood to realize $28 million in stock option gains from the sale. Five other ExactTarget execs were in line to receive anywhere from $6.7 million to $26.5 million in option gains.

Several of the execs, including Dorsey, were expected to receive lucrative stock bonuses for remaining with the company.

Shares of Salesforce.com rose 2.2 percent Friday morning, to $42.45 each.

 
 

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