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Salesforce to buy marketing startup Krux for about $700 million

October 3, 2016

Salesforce.com Inc. is buying marketing-software startup Krux in a cash-and-stock deal estimated at about $700 million, the latest acquisition in a strategy to expand its products against growing competition from bigger rivals.

The deal will include $340 million in cash as well as Salesforce shares, according to a filing Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Krux sells cloud-based software with data tools that help marketers, media companies and agencies reach and engage with customers. Both companies are based in San Francisco.

Indianapolis is a major base of operations for Salesforce, which recently announced a plan to expand its 1,600-person Indiana workforce by 800 employees. It plans to ocupy several floors in the former Chase Tower, which already has been renamed Salesforce Tower.

Salesforce, which can use Krux to bolster its marketing services, is spending about $4 billion purchasing companies to compete against Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and SAP SE. Salesforce has expressed interest in acquiring social-media company Twitter Inc., which is valued at about $17 billion, and earlier lost a bid to Microsoft for LinkedIn Corp. in a $26.2 billion deal.

The purchase of Krux is expected to close Jan. 31, subject to customary conditions, Salesforce said. Krux, founded in 2010, lists several high-profile customers, including ConAgra Foods, Kellogg Co. and JetBlue Airways.

As part of the deal, Salesforce said it will issue 3.4 million to 6 million shares at a price that’s a weighted average of the close in the days before the purchase is completed. Using Monday’s closing stock price of $70.52, the value would be more than $330 million at the midpoint of the issuance.

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