Cloud player Salesforce.com has entered into an agreement to acquire sales and marketing platform ExactTarget in a transaction valued at US$2.5bn.
The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies.
The plan is to combine ExactTarget’s digital marketing capabilities with Salesforce.com’s business ans social marketing tecnologies.
Gartner estimates that by 2015 consumer technology companies will have switched one-third of their traditional marketing budgets to digital, and CMOs will outspend CIOs on information technology by 2017.
“The chief marketing officer is expected to spend more on technology than the CIO by 2017,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com.
“The addition of ExactTarget makes Salesforce the starting place for every company and puts Salesforce.com in the pole position to capture this opportunity,” Benioff said.
Investigation into ExactTarget acquisition
However, no sooner had the acquisition of ExactTarget been announced than a an investigation on behalf of shareholders into the deal was launched by New York law firm Bernstein Liebhard LLP.
The firm is investigationg whether ExactTarget’s board breached its fiduciary duty to shareholders by agreeing to sell the company to Salesforce.com.
Under the terms of the agreement, ExactTarget shareholders will receive US$33.75 in cash for each share they own.
“The investigation is focused on the potential unfairness of the price to ExactTarget shareholders and the process by which the ExactTarget Board of Directors considered and approved the transaction,” the firm stated.
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