Salesforce.com Buys ExactTarget, Expands Marketing Capabilities

CRM company Salesforce.com has reached a $2.5 billion deal to acquire ExactTarget, which has roots as an email service provider but has looked to expand into other capabilities. The agreement would pay ExactTarget shareholders $33.75 a share -- close to double what the shares were trading at a year ago.

Salesforce.com investors signaled some displeasure as its shares were trading down about 3% in midday trading Tuesday. The boards of both companies have approved the merger. The FTC and/or the Department of Justice will need to approve the deal, although Salesforce expects it to close by July 31.

ExactTarget CEO Scott Dorsey stated that Salesforce.com’s "social marketing" capabilities should “provide our customers with a powerful, integrated CRM platform to transform their end-to-end customer experience.”

San Francisco-based Salesforce.com indicated the acquisition will push it into the marketing realm, while ExactTarget will gain greater geographic reach and exposure to a new customer base. The company’s clients include Coke and Nike.

Salesforce said the acquisition should boost revenues by up to $125 million. ExactTarget has been a major engine in turning its Indianapolis home into a tech hub.

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